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Full text of "Thinkdigit Magazine 2011-11"

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MOTHERBOARDS 

TESTES (including 



EVERYONE'S 

A GAMER 

NO MATTER WHAT YOUR GENDER, AGE, 





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HOW WE FIND DISTANT PUNETS 



TIps&Tricks: GoogleDocs.UbuntullJO, and more,., I Agent 001: Gaming consoles 




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The RSS Feed 



Awaken the gamer in you 



People make the mistake of 
thinking that being a "gamer" 
means you have a great PC or 
one of the popular consoles, and 
spend inordinate amounts of time staring at 
screens. Yes, those people are video gamers, 
but there's a gamer inside all of us - you, 
me, our grandparents, parents, everyone! 

The oldest known proof of a game is a 
Backgammon board and dice excavated in 
Iran, from the ancient city oi Shahr-e-Sookhteh 
(the burnt city), which was built around 
3200 BC and abandoned in about 2100 
BC (basically 4,000-5000 years ago). 

Almost everyone on Earth today, and 
certainly all of Digit's readers have at some 
point played games and enjoyed them - 
cards, dice games, chess... something. Digit 
readers are just more into video gaming 
than the average Indian, but that's just a 
difference of mediums, not natures. 

There are several aspects to gaming that 
make it come naturally to humans. Enter- 
tainment is perhaps the most significant, 
since we all need something to do - perhaps 
why we watch the rubbish on TV these days, 
or listen to music, read, play games, etc. 

Satiating our competitive streak is another 
big pull - it's why we've always played games, 
sports and everything else in life - the desire 
to be better than the rest is ingrained in our 
psyche. We also need to exercise our minds, 
and that's where mental games, or puzzle 
games, hook us. The brain releases feel-good 
chemicals when you finish such games, which 
in turn gives you a sense of accomplishment. 

Anxiety or fear may sound like strange 
emotions that draw us to games, but they're 
what add to the fun of everything - it's why 
some of us love horror movies and nail-biting 
sports finales. Games also cause these emo- 
tions, and a rather tough battle in Chess will 
likely trigger very similar changes in emo- 
tion as when a hardened EPS gamer first 
played DOOM, or any other similar game. 

Many people also love the escapism 
that games offer - visiting alien worlds, 
re-living events of the past or future, being 
a wizard in a kingdom of magic, or basi- 
cally letting our imaginations run wild. It 
isn't only video games that offer this either. 
Monopoly, for instance, lets us live out our 
fantasies of being rich property owners. 

Video games, though, have some unique 



offerings for the gamer in us - sex, vio- 
lence and rebelliousness. The Dark Side 
in us all (males especially, if some studies 
are to be believed) needs to rebel against 
society and the morals imposed upon us. 
While most such gamers wouldn't hurt 
a fly and are respectful of women, they 
will happily revel in all the blood and 
gore and sexist fun that games provide. 

Rockstar Games has successfully exploited 
this Dark Side of gamers by hiding unlock- 
able content of a sexual or violent nature in a 
game. Although it stirred up quite a ruckus 
and made headlines, and even got the game 
banned in some places, it only fuelled the 
desire of gamers to want to play said game. 
The forbidden fruit effect, so to speak. 

Warning! Shameless plugs ahead: While 
SKOAR! - the next edition of which will be 
out with our December 2011 special issue - 
caters mainly to the hardcore gamer. Digit 
chose to look at how there's a gamer in all of 
us for the specific reason of encouraging it. 

I'm not going to sit about citing all the 
various studies that claim to provide evidence 
about whether or not games are good for us, 
because those are usually studying a minority 
of games and people - the SKOAR! type. Eor 
the rest of us, who probably spend more time 
plsiying Angry Birds, FarmVille, mobile games 
or Solitaire than any other game, what matters 
most is fulfilling our mental need of the hour - 
entertainment, competitiveness, escapism, etc. 

This issue (and the DVDs that accom- 
pany it) aims to satisfy those urges by giving 
you some suggestions about which games 
to play. We try and show you how your love 
for a particular game can lead to socialising 
with like-minded people, and also take a 
light-hearted dig at a game that's pretty 
popular with the Eacebook generation. Of 
course, there's always something for devel- 
opers and SKOAR! fanatics, as usual, but 
in the end, our cover story aims to make the 
point that everyone is a gamer at heart. H 





Robert Sovereign-Smith 

Executive Editor 
eclitor@thinkcligit.com 

"Almost 
everyone on 
Earth today, and 
certainly all of 
Digit's readers 
have at some 
point played 
games and 
enjoyed them 
- cards, dice 
games, chess- 
something." 



Liked or hated this coLumn? 
Write in to eclitor@thinkcligit.com 
and express yourself. 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



November 2011 • Volume 11 • Issue 11 



thinkaSit 



,com 



Managing Director Dr Pramath Raj Sinha 
Printer and Publisher Kanak Ghosh 
Publishing Director Asheesh Gupta 

Editorial 

Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith 
Senior Writer Siddharth Parwatay 
Copy Editor Infancia Cardozo 
Multimedia Co-ordinator Sambhav Daffu 
Interns Mithun Mohandas, Anirudh Regidi, 
Jait Dixit, Sriram Gurunathan, Aniruddh 
Subramanian 

Test Centre 

Manager (Delhi) Michael Browne 
Assistant Manager (Mumbai) Jayesh Shinde 
Reviewers Nimish Sawant, Vishal Mathur 
Product Co-ordinator Shweta Mali 
Assistant Vikas Patil 

dev.works & Custom Publishing 
Asst. Editor Nash David 

Thinkdigit.com 

Online Editor Soham Raninga 

Writer Abhinav Lai 

Design 

Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan 

Art Director: Anil VK 

Associate Art Director: PC Anoop 

Visualisers: Prasanth TR, Anil T & 

Shokeen Saifi 

Sr. Designers: Joffy Jose, NV Baiju, 

Chander Dange & Sristi Maurya 

Designers: Suneesh K, Shigil N, Charu Dwivedi, 

Raj Verma, Prince Antony & Binu MP 

Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul 

Sr Photographer: Jiten Gandhi 

Contributors 

Writers Ankur Mour, Amit Meena, 

Rahil Banthia, Kshitij Sobti, Kapil Rustagi, 

Design Vijay Padaya 

Production and Logistics 

Sr GM - Operations Shivshankar Hiremath 

Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay 

Asst Production Manager Vilas Mhatre 

Asst Mgr Vijay Menon 

Production Assistant Brahmanand Nikalje 

Executives M P Singh, Mohd. Nadeem Ansari 

Nilesh Shiravadekar 

Brand 

Product Mgr Navneet Miglani 

Mgr - Online Shauvik Kumar 

Mgr - Product Marketing Chandan Sisodia 

Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh 

Circulation Sales 

National Co-ordinator Samir Mehta 

Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya, 

Norbert Joseph 

Manager Circulation Dharmendra Singh 

Executive Vijay Mhatre 

Reader Services 

Lead Associate Sourabha 

Executives Itishree, Pinky, Sudhir, Sufiyan 

+91-22-678 99 678 / help@thinkdigit.com 

Community Advisory Council 
Ejaz Ashraf, Mayur Gaikwad, 
Bhuveneshwar Gupta, Prashant Joshi, 
Romin Joshi, Natraj Kadur, Rohan Mathew, 
Amitabh Mishra, Abhineet Mittal, Dev 
Mukerjee, Anuvrat Parashar, Dipankar Saha, 
Dilip Sanghvi, Suvra Sarkar, Arun Sriraman 



TO ADVERTISE 



Email: sales@thinkdigit.com 

National Manager: 

Lalit Arun, Mobile: +91-95822 62959 

Manager (Delhi): 

Debleena Majumdar, Mobile: +91-98101 19492 

Anshul Sharma, Mobile: +91-99993 18804 

Manager (Bangalore): 

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Manager (West): 

Suvarna Shringarpure, Mobile: +91-93249 28247 

Manager (Kolkata): 

Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Mobile: +91-93318 29284 



ADVERTISING INDEX 


Brand 

APC 


Page No 

5 


ASIA Power 


128 


ASUS 


9 


ASUS 


45 


Base Corp 


41 


BeLkin 


23 


Brother 


19 


Circle 


123 


Deja Vu 


33 


DeLL ALienware 


IBC 


DSK 


28,29 


Fenda 


127 


Fujitsu 


37 


Game 4 U 


39 


Gigabyte 


25 


iBaU 


3 


Kaspersl<y 


BC 


LipAp 


63 


IMap IMy India 


43 


Nokia 


IFC 


NVIDIA Advertorial 

PNY 


46,47 

15 


RPInfo 


69 


Silicon Power 


31 


SmartUnk 


17 


Symantec 


13 


Top Notch 


57 


ViewSonic 


55 





Cover design PC Anoop 



Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine 
Interactive Pvt. Ltd. Published and printed on their 
behalf by Kanak Ghosh. Published at Bunglow No. 
725 Sector - 1, Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. 400706. 
Printed at Print House (India) Pvt. Ltd. R-847, TTC 
Industrial Area, MIDC, Rable, Navi Mumbai 400701. 
Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur 

Disclaimer 

For every Digit contest, there will be only one winner, 

unless specified otherwise. 

In the event of a dispute, the Editor's decision shall be final. 



PRODUCTS REVIEWED THIS MONTH 



Bazaar 

Acer Aspire S3 

Acer Iconia A501 

ALienware M14x 

ASUS Matrix GTX 580 Platinum Card 

BeeteL MAGIQ 

Boxee Box media streamer 

Canon SeLpliy CP800 

Cooler Master Elite 311 Plus Cabinet 

G'Five G20 Gaming Phone 

LG AF115 projector 

Mercury MTab 

Microsoft Toucli Mouse 

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 

Nikon COOLPIXS9100 

Nokia J Bluetootii iieadset 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 

Sony BDV-E980 home theater 

Sony Bravia HX925 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini 

Vodafone 555 Blue 

Wipro e.Go Aero 

Zebronics ZEB-SW3200RUCF speakers 

Zotac Zbox Nano Plus ADIO 

Gaming peripherals test 

Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid (Blue) 

Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid (Black) 

Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid (Red) 

Razor Black Widow 

Razor Cyclosa (Bundle) 

Razor Starcraft 2 

Steelseries 6Gv2 

Zebronics Judwaa 5 (Bundle) 

Cooler Master CMStorm Inferno 

Cooler Master CMStorm Sentinel Advance 

Cooler Master CMStorm Spawn 

NZXT Avatar S 

Razor Spectre (Starcraft II bundle) 

Razor Imperator 

Razor Orochi Black 

Razor Abyssus (Cyclosa bundle) 

Steelseries Kinzu 

Steelseries Xai 

Zebronics Judwa 5 (bundle) 

IVIotherboards test 

ASRock A75 ExtremeG 
ASRock A75 Pro4-M 
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen 3 
ASUS F1A75-M LE 
ASUS F1A75-V PRO 
ASUS F1A75M 
ASUS F1A75M Pro 
ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Z 
ASUS Maximus IV GENE Z 
ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe 
ASUS P8Z68 Mpro 
ASUS P8Z68-V LE 
ASUS P8Z68-V LE 
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro 
Biostar TZ68K+ 
Biostar TA75A+ 
ECS A75F-M 
Gigabyte A75-D3H 
Gigabyte A75M-D2H 
Gigabyte A75M-UD2H 
Gigabyte Gl Sniper 2 
Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 
Gigabyte Z68X UD7 B3 
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD 
Intel DZ68D8 
MSI A75MA-G55 
MSI Z68A-GD65 B3 
MSI Z68A-GD80 
MSI Z68MA-ED55 
ZOTAC A75ITX A-E 
ZOTAC Z68 ITX A-E 
ZOTAC Z68 ITX B-E 

HD JVIedia player test 

Amkette Flash TV HD Media Player 

ASUS HDP -R3-0! Play Air 

ASUS 0! Play Gallery 

ASUS 0! Play HDP -Rl 

ASUS 0! Play Mini 

ASUS 0! Play Mini Plus 

ASUS0!PlayHD2 

Buffalo Link Theatre 

iOmega ScreenPlay DX 1TB 

iOmega ScreenPlay MX 1TB 

iOmega Screenplay TV Link Dx 

iOmega ScreenPlay TV Link MX 

Seagate Go Flex TV 

WD TV Live 

WD TV Live Hub 1TB 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.conn 



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Pune - 93723 37753, Patna - 0612- 326 0947, Raipur - 0771- 329 3674, Ranctii - 0651- 324 4199, Secunderabad - 040- 2789 4847. 



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TeLL us what you feel about Digit 

If you have an opinion about anytiiing pubLislied in Digit, or about teciinoLogy 
in general, write to editor@thinkdigit.com or caLL at +91-22-678 99 700. 

To interact witii tine autliors of specific articles, pLease write to tine email 
address specified under tine autlior's name 

Software on the DVDs 

To submit and suggest software or any otiier type of content, to be included in 
tlie Digit DVDs, write to dvd@thinkdigit.com or caLL +91-22-678 99 707 



Q&A 

If you're iiaving trouble witii your PC or a gadget, our experts can lieLp soLve 
your problems. Just write in to sos@thinkdigit.com. Remember to include fuLL 
system configurations in your email. 

AgentOOl 

Our very own secret agent wiLL give you tine Low down on wiiat to buy, from 
wiiere, and for iiow mucin. Send in aLL your buying advice questions to tlie 
cooLest agent ever. Write to agent001@thinkdigit.com 

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For copy-reLated issues, delivery status, or any otiier complaints 
regarding out service, write to help@thinkdigit.com or caLL 
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Liave exciting offers for everyone, and you save money in tLie bargain. 

SMS: <DIGIT SUB> to 92200 92200 or visit www.thinkdigit.com/subscribe 



Product testing 

Want your product reviewed by Digit? Contact our Test Center at 
testcenter@thinkdigit.com or caLL +91-22-678 99 708 



News and new product launches 

To announce new product LauncLies, and press reLeases, emaiL us at 
pressrelease@thinkdigit.com 



Endorsements / reprints 

Interested in ordering articLe reprints, or using our Logos? Get tLie requisite 
permissions by contacting us at reprint@thinkdigit.com 



Business enquiries 

TLiink we can LieLp you grow your business, or maybe you can LieLp us grow 
ours? Get in toucLi witLi us at business@thinkdigit.com 



Careers 

Want to worl< for Digit? Send us your resume at careers@thinkdigit.com 



Sponsorship 

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network. Interact with thousands of 
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http://www.facebook.com/ 

techkranti 

Let's wake ourselves 

up and gather the tools 

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great nation. Join The Revolution! 

http://www,facebook.com/ 
IThinkGadgets 
Community of People 

who love mobiles, laptops, cameras & 

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^ I http://www.facebook.com/ 

consumermate 

Expert buying advice and some 

awesome offers 

http://www.facebook.com/ 
devworx.in 
Community of 
software programmers 

who enjoy writing code and want 

to grow their career in software 

development 






Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



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©201 1 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, APC, Smart-UPS, and PowerChute are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies, 
e-mail: esupport@apc.com APC UK - Unit 1 , Ground Floor, 250 South Oak Way, Green Park, Reading, RG2 6UG • 998-21 94_IN 



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022 CONNECTIONS 

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058 SCI - TECH 

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064 STREET SMART 

AgentOOl 
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085 TOOLBOX 

DIY 
Q&A 
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088 TRIED & 
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116 TECH @ WORK 

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EVERYONE'S 

A GAMER 

NO MATTER WHAT yOUR LENDER, AGEt 
PR BAm Q ALANOE, YOU Al^ A GAMERI 

• Why it slmAs to be a asmw in Inefn \} 

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You might or might not have heard of these games, 
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Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



Things that make you go... 

Whaaaat? 





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050 Droolmaal 

Say hello to the things that make you go 
. 'Whaaat?' 

026 A war in your pocket 

A round-up of the current mobile pLatfornns 
I vying for your attention 

085 Remote Missile Launcher 

Wanna send a discreet message to your friend? 
Well you can use this DIY to get your job done 



SKOAR! 

'0 FIFA 12 

PLay with new and 
improved features 

2 F120U 

IFl 2011 represents the 
pinnacle of the motor 
racing experience 





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DUNGEONS -THE DARK 
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digit 

DVD 



4 LINUX DEMOS 



ON THE DVDS 



Productivity apps 

True Time Tracker 1.S3 
No More Tabs 1.6 
BinarySwitch Eclipse 1.11 
TimeSnapper Classic 1.0 
Scribus 
FreeMind 
Task Coach 1.1.3 
xplorer^ 

Corel apps 

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 

X5 

PaintShop Pro X4 

VideoStudioProX4 

Painter 12 

Dev tools 

VBto Converter 

Cyb@rg0.1 

Astrobe3.4 

AppMaker4.4 

uniPaaS Discovery Edition 

BCompilerGUIl.1 

ExcepGen 0.9.2 

Demo Games 

SpaceChem 

ThePathofThanatos 

Orczz 

A Valley Without Wind 

010 



Full games 

Frogatto & Friends 

Hedgewars 

Warzone2100 

PlaneShift 

Glest 

Air Power: Battle in the Skies 

PokerTH 

8bit killer 

Nuclear Bike 2 

RagdoU Matrix 

Gaming addons 

Half-Life 2 Garry's Mod 
Half-Life 2 Pilotable Strider 
Counter-Strike Mod vl.S 
Age of Empires II: The Con- 
querors Beta Patch 
NFS Underground Patch 
SimCity 2000 Jurassic Park 
mod 
Heavy Rain speedrun 

Game trailers 

Carnival Island 
GoldenEye 007 Reloaded 
Hitman: Absolution 
MDK2HD 

Need for Speed: The Run 
PayDay: The Heist 
Skylanders: Spyro's Adven- 
ture 



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TALKS VIDEO 



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71 


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Many genres, with 1000+ original songs, it's a multimodal 
show across TV, radio, internet, multiplex, mobile, CD, Blue 
ray DVD, video on demand services and live shows. Don't for- 
get to checl< the songs in this month's DVD 


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Enter 



High-tech magic 

Watch Marco Tempest puLL off some amazing 
high tech magic tricl<s involving iPhones and more 
http://bit.ly/qjCmfg 



External GPU for laptops? 

Checl< out this cooL DIY to cranl< up your Laptop's graphic 
capabilities - for aLL those who asked about external 
GPUs in the past: http://Ufehac.kr/nOlkcq 



^ I'm an avid reader of Digit since the 
past 3 years and have never missed any 
issue. I am so attracted to this magazine 
that I can spend the whole day reading 
the same topics. Your hard work to bring 
out this magazine is extraordinary. I'm 
a proud Digit forum member and I must 
say that you've made me famous in my 
college as I'm the most superb geek in 
our class. Thanks a lot for that. I love 
you Digit, keep up the good work, we are 
with you. 

Ravi Chakravorty 

Q We're glad to know that Digit guided 
you in your journey to beconning a superb 
geek in your class. Thanks for your 
encouraging words. 

Nimish 

^ I've been reading Digit for the past 3 
years, I really liked Fast Track to Nan- 
otechnology Can you please cover more 
topics such as quantum physics and 
quantum mechanics in your coming Fast 
Tracks? They are the most spoken topics 
these days in most of the research and 
education fields. 

Manoj Vangala 

H Hi Manoj, it's good to know that you 
found the Fast Track to NanotechnoLogy 
interesting. I'd Like to know what other 
readers think of Manoj's suggestions for 
Fast Track topics. If the majority agree, 
we'LL do it. 

Robert 

^ I've been reading your magazine 
since a long time (when it was called 
Chip) and also followed the Hindi ver- 
sion. I've never felt the need to write in 
before since my thoughts were always 
in agreement with someone whose mail 
has been posted. Being busy with work, 
I had to skip checking DVDs, but never 
skipped the Fast Track. I started surfing 
the October 2011 DVD. I didn't have any 
issue with content but with the design. 
I use an HD monitor with 1920 x 1080 
resolution, but have kept it at 1600 x 900. 
The major problem I had with the DVD 
was the extremely small font size (Here 
I'm talking about the description fonts) 
which is very tough to read and strains 



Feedback about the October 2011 issue of Digit 




eyes. As an alternative to increasing font 
size, I suggest giving a button to increase 
it as per our need. Another problem I 
faced was the small-sized thumbnail 
which if it was bigger you could show 
what exactly the game or software looked 
like. The big debate among Digit readers 
right now is whether to keep two DVDs 
or two Fast Tracks. I suggest keeping 
two DVDs rather than two Fast Tracks 
because sometimes free software is hard 
to get. For instance, I still use TuneUp 
Utilities 2007 Digit edition (It completes 
my need so no need to get an upgrade). I 
know there are readers who've suggested 
keeping Fast Tracks but I realise that even 
though I have broadband internet, I don't 
have to waste my time searching for the 
best software since Digit already provides 
good software. 

Another issue I face is that on every 
page you give links and details. Could 
you give the same links on DVDs since 
it's easier to copy-paste. The short films 
you keep adding in DVDs are appreciated 
but you only give animated films, live 
action would also be great fun. I miss the 
nice collection of wallpapers. I think I've 
been with Digit since a decade and will be 
there till I die. I've seen lots of change and 
each time it was a change for the better. 



At a time there was HTML, Macromedia 
Flash/Director DVD presentation but now 
the content is more dynamic and impres- 
sive. Keep up the good work. Thanks for 
your efforts to keep us updated to be able 
to compete in this world. 

Kiran 

d Thanks for the feedback and sugges- 
tions Kiran. We'LL try and innpLennent thenn. 
As far as the waLLpapers are concerned, 
we've been bundLing HD waLLpapers each 
nnonth. You can find thenn once you right- 
cLick on the Digit icon and enter the nnain 
foLders in the DVD. 

Sombhov 

^ Great job on the October Diwali 
edition of Digit. Two Fast Tracks and 
one DVD is how I believe the magazine 
should be made. But I have a few com- 
plaints: Fast Track topics are not really 
what they used to be (can you please 
explain the old stuff again, as some of it 
has changed too drastically). HTML 5 
Fast Track seemed to be an advertorial 
for Internet Explorer 9. Some emails 
to AgentOOl were unacknowledged. 
Besides these, please continue in the 
direction that you've been going. 

ParthMittal 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 




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H Thanks for your vote for the ongoing 
DVDs vs. Fast Tracks debate. The 
results are in, and after thousands of 
votes, the DVD guys won 54 to 46 per 
cent. Until and unless the majority of 
Digit readers start dennanding Fast 
Tracks, not DVDs, it looks like we'll be 
going back to the 2 DVDs bundle. I am 
the first one to admit that I was wrong, 
and in this case, my gut feeling was that 
Fast Tracks would be more preferred - 
they aren't, not just yet. 

We get hundreds of mails a day, and 
some of them get by us, especially during 
issue closing, but we'll renew our efforts 
to try and answer all mails. 

Robert 

^ Flux and DBAN were really great 
in this month's issue. It would be very 
helpful to new programmers if you could 
provide a Fast Track on 'C Program- 
ming' / 'career in IT/CSE'. It would also 
be very helpful for youth if you provided 
some information in Digit about campus 
ambassador programs / campus crew 
programs by various companies like 
Google, Microsoft, IBM, Opera and how 
we can apply 

Aman Maharshi 

H Thanks for writing in. We cover a wide 
range of topics in our Fast Tracks so look 
out for the ones you requested. We also 
cover industry news in our Industry Con- 
nect section so watch out for that, we will 
try and cover more campus ambassador 
news in the future. 

Joyesh 

^ I was about to write regarding the 
delay in my issue but if it's because of a 
mega package like the one you gave in 
October, then I don't mind it. This is my 
first letter to you. You're the best tech 
magazine and I'm happy just to get the 
magazine. I really liked the September 
edition and especially the accessories 
article. I would also like to thank you 
for the Java Fast Track you published 
in Jan 2011 issue that helped me pass 
my Java exam and project. The Cowon 
earphones I received as a subscription 
gift are really good. Keep up the good 
work guys, thanks for all the knowledge 



Some letters need 
no answers 

^ I studied English literature and neither 
knew nor learnt anything of computer. 
In 2003 1 became a lecturer in a college 
in West Bengal. I purchased a computer 
for typing which I leant by following 
our clerical staff Some months later I 
was looking for some wallpapers and in 
Howrah station I came across a magazine 
named Digit giving free wallpapers with 
the magazine. I purchased it and enjoyed 
the contents and touched a DVD first 
time (I was looking for one that time). 
But then I started reading the maga- 
zine and instantly fell in love with it. 

One year later I became an expert of 
Windows (according to my colleagues!) 
and would fix many problems for my col- 
lege including LAN, ODBC etc. Because 
of advanced information on gaming I 
became an expert in gaming too. But in 
that process of tweaking and overclocking 
I damaged my hard disks and processors 
a number of times. Some more months 
passed on and the local vendors would 
consult me for new products, configu- 
rations and gadgets. A guy taught me 
Photoshop, Coreldraw (and all other 
software I seem to have learnt from Digit). 
After that I got my first internet connec- 
tion when Digit provided a Fast Track on 
blogging. Some more Fast Tracks on the 
web and internet followed. I started with 



E MONTH, 

Blogger and created a blog for helping 
English aspirants for West Bengal School 
Service Commission Exam (http://bit.ly/ 
qvQs2I) and another for students of Eng- 
lish literature (http://bit.ly/oHpwWU) 
which have so far been visited by thou- 
sands of visitors from all over the world. 

From Digit I came to know of Open 
Source and became an avid follower. 
More than that from Open Source I 
learnt of Open Access. Inspired by 
it I started an OA Initiative in India. 
In 2008 1 purchased a site, designed 
it and started Rupkatha Journal on 
Interdisciplinary Studies in Humani- 
ties (www.rupkatha.com) which has 
become within 3 years one of the premier 
journals of the world having an interna- 
tional editorial board and readership. 

In 2010 1 started a magazine on 
art and design at wwwchitrolekha. 
com. I get some money from Adsense 
(Digit carried a coverage on it) and pass 
them onto maintaining the sites. I have 
helped a number of OA initiatives in 
India with my technical knowledge. 

Now I am doing my PhD on Elec- 
tronic Literature. But I owe all to 
Digit which has provided everything 
whenever I needed sometimes just by 
coincidence. I'm sorry that I didn't 
acknowledge your debt earlier. 

Tarun Tapas Mukherjee 
Paschim Medinipur 



you impart to the readers. I am proud to 
be a Digit reader. 

Suyash Swaroop 
Patna 

H Thanks for the words Suyash, it really 
means a lot to the whole team. 

Robert 

^ Hello Digit! I'm a school student and 
I study in class 9. I've been a subscriber 
of Digit since the past 3 months and 
wait eagerly for the magazine and the 
DVD every month. The DVDs are really 
beneficial and have lot to teach. According 
to me, the World View section is the most 
interesting one. January 2011 issue was 



very useful to me as it had the advertise- 
ment of Kurukshetra. I also liked the part 
where you listed all the top software and 
games of last year. Your video of tab- 
lets on the DVD was also fabulous. Till 
date I found the Windows 7 Fast Track 
most interesting and helpful. I want to 
make some suggestions. First of all, you 
shouldn't provide the Fast Tracks on the 
DVDs as there's problem of electricity 
in many towns in India. I observed the 
January 2011 magazine was full of adver- 
tisements, please try to lessen or decrease 
the advertisement in the magazine. Please 
try to provide some more e-books on your 
DVDs and also try to add tutorial videos 
of Java, C++. 



10 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 




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This month Dr. A.RJ. Abdul Kalam 
visited RR. Rote College of engineering, 
Amravati and here a technical festival 
was organized named as Techelons. 
I participated in this fest and a won 
1st rank in the event of Science Model 
Making and most of the credit I give to 
Digit to enhance my technical knowledge. 
I also tried to participate in the Kuruk- 
shetra but it was too late so, I will try 
for it next time. I want your guidance in 
order to develop more and by this, I end 
my letter. 

Amrut Deshmukh 
Amravati, Maharashtra. 

H Hi Amrut, we are so happy to know that 
you won the first prize in your college 
festival. It's readers like you who make 
us proud, keep up the good work and 
happy reading. 

Robert 

^ I've been reading your magazine for 
a long time now. And I've acquired good 
knowledge from your magazine. How- 
ever, I had asked many questions but 
haven't got any reply nor did it get pub- 
lished in the magazine. That's the only 
issue I have with Digit, otherwise the 
knowledge that you guys give is great. It's 
up-to-date with the market. Keep doing a 
good job. I'm looking forward to pur- 
chasing an Android phone and am very 
confused since my budget is ?15,000. 1 
would also request you to also answer 
some queries via email so that the person 
doesn't have to wait for the magazine to 
come out to see a reply. Thank you for the 
knowledge. 

Farooq Ahmed Khan 



H Thank you for being a regular reader of 
Digit and for your kind words. It helps a lot 
to know that people are appreciating what 
we're doing. We do make an attempt to 
feature as many queries as possible in the 
magazine every month. Most of the time, 
due to space constraints, many queries 
are missed out. As for buying an Android 
phone within a budget of ^15,000, we 
suggest checking out the Motorola Defy. 
Another phone you can check out is the 
HTC Wildfire S. It's an upgrade from the 
hugely successful Wildfire. If you want 
a physical QWERTY keypad as well, do 
check out the HTC ChaCha. 

Vlshol 

^ I've been a fan of Digit since 4th grade, 
now I'm in 12th standard. It gives me 
immense pleasure to write to you to 
acknowledging the great work that's put 
in by you and the crew. Never has a maga- 
zine caught my attention the way Digit 
has, with great printing, humour, and 
style. Not to forget the content! By god! 
Any errors I find (rarely) are instantly 
forgiven by the time I'm on the next page. 
The October issue is great, the cover image 
is a great idea. FT to nano technology was 
just amazing in the previous issue. Rlease 
incorporate such topics in the future. My 
suggestions include- more game reviews 
and SKOAR! to be more regular. Other 
than that you guys are my Gods, (after the 
real Gods, parents and soccer of course.) 
Exquisite work! 

Amruth 
Q Thanks for your admiring words 
Amruth. We will look into the suggestions 
given by you. Happy reading 

Nimish 



^ Some days back I was thinking how 
lucky I'm to be able to read Digit maga- 
zine. I've read many editions of it and 
with each edition I've learnt something 
new about RCs or mobile phones. I first 
saw Digit at our school library when my 
friend was reading it. I asked my friend 
later what he was reading and he told me 
about your magazine and also told that a 
DVD comes with it that's full of software 
and games. And that was the moment that 
my excitement was above sea level. I went 
home and told my papa to bring Digit as 
my birthday gift as it was the day after. 
He gave me the magazine and I read the 
whole thing in one day. This was the story 
of my Digit experience. 

Here are some points that I would 
like to put up for further improvements: 
Rlease make Digit more interesting, I 
mean the written matter is so boring 
and looks like it's copy and pasted. I'm 
a student and there must be some easy 
language too. Rlease don't give any edi- 
tion of your magazine or FTs in RDF 
format as it's very awkward to read on 
our RCs. Rlease give your music that you 
put in your DVD so that it can be played 
separately. I want to learn soldering and 
how to make interconnections with that, 
so please include that. My favourite Fast 
Track was the DIY one. 

Ahhimanyu Singh (a geek) 
Kumbhirgram, Assam 

H We're glad you wrote to us and shared 
your story. Thanks for your feedback 
Abhimanyu we'll try and incorporate your 
suggestions. Happy reading. 

Joyesh 




/lOCj 



Perfection from every angle 



©L^M ExielkiiiUJestylrK 



East is the new West 

The Silicon Valley in the US has for long been the fountainhead of new breakthroughs in IT, Recent years 

have seen the rise of one nnore technology leader fronn the East - Taiwan, or as we call it, Silicon Island. 

The gadget-hungry world is increasingly looking at Taiwan to fulfill its dennanding needs 



Overheard recently in a mall 

"/ want to buy a cellphone with lots of features. " 

"Big brand or a cheap phone?" 

"No! Only reputed western brands - such as HTC. " 

True, HTC is a global leader and is 
the manufacturer of amongst the 
most feature-rich phones avail- 
able... but Western? Unknown to 
many, HTC is a b rand from our very own 
Asian neighbour, Taiwan. The impression 
that all good things in technology come from 
Western brands, is a cliched one. The popu- 
larity of brands such as Apple and Black- 
Berry have led to most Indians believing that 
cutting-edge developments in technology 
are a phenomenon of the Western world. 
Perhaps, there's also the tendency to visu- 
alise Asia as a mere manufacturing hub for 
designs, technologies and aesthetic concepts 
that originate in the West. 
Banish the thought... 
There's so much innovation happening 
in Asia that countries such as Taiwan, China, 
and even India are seeing a patent boom. In 
2010, Taiwan was the third-largest filers of 
patents after the US and Japan, respectively. 

Taiwan: the global ICT giant 

The sheer amount of innovation happening in 
Taiwan, and the slew of feature-packed devices 
that Taiwanese companies release on a regular 
basis might prompt one to think that Silicon 
Valley just upped and shifted base to this little 
island nation. In case you didn't already know, 
some of the hottest brands in technology are 
Taiwanese - Acer, one of the leading names in 
notebooks, tablet PCs, smartphones; ADATA, 
the world's second largest vendor of DRAM 
modules, and third-largest for flash drives; 
ASUS the No. 1 manufacturer of motherboards 
and a soaring fourth place in consumer port- 
able PCs; Optoma, world No. 1 manufacturer 
of palm-sized pico-projector; BenQ, World 
leader in Projectors and LCDs,; Ritek, world 
leader in DVD storage; MSI, another leader in 
motherboards and graphics cards; Transcend, 
a household name in flash Drives, USB pen 
drives with the world's first "Hfe long quaran- 



tee"; Thermaltake, a world 
recognised cooling system 
brand among professional 
gamers are just a handful. 
Taiwan is at the heart of 
most ICT products used 
by technology enthusiasts 
in India. If you look inside 
your PC, you will prob- 
ably find that a major part 
of it comes from compa- 
nies based in Taiwan. Ditto 
with most of the other de- 
vices you own. A prime 
attribute for this is the fact 
that Taiwan ICT companies 
are quick to hit the market with innovative of- 
ferings, and are backed by a robust servicing 
and support infrastructure. Most importantly, 
Taiwan ICT products believe in offering value 
for the price, which is a key driver for Indian 
consumers. 

The Taiwan Govt has been initiating 
multiple programmes to lend support to the 
country's ICT industry/brands and help them 
compete in the global arena. One unity to the 
brands that stem from Taiwan is largely due to 
the quality symbol Taiwan Excellence. 

TAIWAN 

EXCELLENCE 



Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA, Taiwan, R.O.C. 



Taiwan External Trade Development Council 





Organized by: 



Silicon VaLLey in CaLifornia faces stiff connpetition from Taiwan, 
an important region in the technoLogy space 



Taiwan Excellence? 

Set up in 1992, Taiwan Excellence repre- 
sents the mark awarded by the Govt. Of 
Taiwan to companies/products with the 
highest standards of Innovation, Reli- 
ability and Value Worth. The Theme for 
Taiwan Excellence India 2011 campaign 
is 'India Intelligence + Taiwan Technol- 
ogy = IT for Excellent Lifestyles.' That 
the alphabets of India and Taiwan form 
IT, and the fact that India is reputed for 
software capabilities, while Taiwan is ac- 
knowledged for its hardware superiority, 
is a great partnership for both countries. 
The Organiser of Taiwan Excellence, Tai- 
wan External Trade Development Coun- 
cil (TAITRA), believes that their brands/ 
products provide the best in technology 
that money can buy, enabling customers 
to experience a truly enhanced lifestyle. 

The 2011 Taiwan ICT Industry Report, 
published by TAITRA, showcases the rap- 
id advances that Taiwan has made in ICT 
(Information and Communications Tech- 
nology). The report opens with these lines, 
"Taiwan forms an indispensable part of the 
global Information and Communications 
Technology (ICT) industry. With roughly 
57.7 per cent of global IC components com- 
ing out the Asia Pacific, the high-tech island 
stands at the forefront of industries includ- 
ing notebook computers, wafer contract 
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design. Moreover, business opportunities 
created by Taiwan's large-scale manufac- 
turing are being avidly pursued by technol- 
ogy firms from across the world." 

For statistic junkies 

According to MIC's latest statistics in April 
2011, Taiwanese companies led the global 
market share of 14 ICT product catego- 
ries and was at the 2nd place in 2 product 
categories. Taiwanese-owned companies 
produce more than 70 per cent of all LCD 
monitors, 88 per cent of all netbooks, and 
more than 94 per cent of all laptops world- 
wide! By the end of 2010, Taiwan had a 
total of 735 listed electronics companies, 
whose combined revenue was a whopping 
$411 billion - that's about ?20 trillion (with 
a few hundred billion in change left over). 
The industry growth rate for 2010 was 31.6 
per cent, and more than half of the rev- 
enues earned by the ICT industry comes 
from ICT manufacturing, which is princi- 
pally focussed on the assembly and manu- 
facture of popular devices like PCs and 
mobile phones. With reputed market ana- 
lysts like Gartner predicting high growth in 
the smartphones and computing industry, 
Taiwan's ICT sector is firmly on the path 
to high growth. The same TAITRA report 
also says, "The Island was recently ranked 
13 on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 
Global Competitiveness Report for 2011." 

Notebooks, smartphones, home 
entertainment and more 

Recently TAITRA had conducted Inter- 
brand's "2011 Taiwan Global Brands Value 
Survey" to identify the Top 100 Best Glo- 
bal Brands for 2011, in co-operation with 
the Bureau of Foreign Trade and the Min- 
istry of Economic Affairs. HTC was judged 
as the number one brand at the event. HTC 
was included in the list of top international 
brands. The technology giant has recorded 
a remarkable 163 per cent growth rate in its 
brand value, which now stands at $3,605 
billion. The phenomenal growth in the 
brand's value is being attributed to HTC's 
successful capture of the Smartphone mar- 
ket over the past year and its active acquisi- 
tion of various companies for future devel- 
opment of the cloud market. 

Many smartphone users in India 
would eagerly cast their vote for HTC. HTC 
Wildfire, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Explorer, 
HTC Sensation, etc., are quite popular in 




Taiwan hosts a multitude of technoLogy expos, popuar among which is COMPUTEX 
TAIPEI, which is the Largest computer exhibition in Asia and the second Largest in the 
worLd, next to CeBIT Germany. Each year, key gLobaL businesses come to this event to 
Launch their new products 



the Indian market. According to the 2011 
Taiwan ICT Industry Report published 
by TAITRA, "HTC recently surpassed 
Nokia to become the world's third larg- 
est Smartphone maker in terms of market 
value." In 2010, global shipment of Smart- 
phones from Taiwan accounted for 22 per 
cent of all mobile phone sales, which ex- 
ceeded 286 million units. In other words, 
one in almost every four smartphones in 
the world has been manufactured in Tai- 
wan! Similarly in the tablet space, Taiwan 
is playing a lead role. Worldwide tablet 
shipments from the island are forecasted 
to grow from 35 million units in 2011 to 
116 million units in 2014. Likewise brands 
Hke Acer, ASUS, 
MSI, have all been 
making steady in- 
roads into the In- 
dia laptop, note- 
book, netbook 
and tablet market 
with a large part 
of the units man- 
ufactured by Tai- 
wanese firms get 
sold in Asia itself 
the continent is 
already on its way 
to becoming the 
world's biggest 
market for tech- 
nology gadgets. 



When it comes to notebook computers, 
the average monthly production in Taiwan 
exceeds 14 million units. The 2011 ICT re- 
port from TAITRA also reports that the 
booming notebook industry has provided 
an excellent base for Taiwan to build up its 
IC design and display panel industries. Con- 
stant innovation has been the hallmark of 
Taiwan's personal computing industry. Cas- 
es in point are the Aspire 5253 and 4253 that 
Acer launched in 2011. These notebooks are 
designed especially for productivity, family 
entertainment and education. MSI's C series 
of multimedia notebooks - with a CPU that's 
produced using nano -technology - touched 
the market in 2011. This device has seen 




TAITRA is a non-profit organisation that promotes externaL trade for 
the Taiwanese industries. They routineLy organize internationaL and 
regionaL expos, and experience zone in shopping maLLs Like this 



14 



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enthusiastic response from many buyers. 
To add to these, ASUS has created a sensa- 
tion with its innovative hybrid tablet. Called 
the Eee Pad Transformer, the tablet comes 
with its own expandable keyboard docking 
station. The HTC Flyer, which boasts of a 
7-inch screen and l.S-Ghz processor, is one 
of the fastest tablets in the world. 

Apart from the phone and notebook 
markets, which are obviously seeing a 
growth spurt, another market with huge 
potential in India is the home entertainment 
segment, and AVerMedia, a major global 
player in multimedia, internet TV and con- 
sumer Electronics products is gearing up 
for this with a slew of new products that 
promise to make entertainment at home 
simpler and seamless. Alongside a full-line 
of TV tuner and personal video recorder 
products, AVerMedia manufactures docu- 
ment cameras, digital video makers, TV 
photo viewers and PC-to-TV converters for 
consumer, corporate and educational mar- 
kets. Watch out for the Game Capure HD 
(C281), a standalone 10801 capture box for 
Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 that guarantees 
a prompt and robust HD video capture abil- 
ity and the HomeFree Combo (F210), a latest 
LAN network streaming TV tuner device, 
scheduled to hit Indian stores, soon. 

Taiwan's century 

On October 10, 2011, Taiwan celebrated its 
100th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, 
Taiwan Government hosted the EMMA 
Expo in Chennai and introduced "Taiwan 
Excellence Pavilion" where TAITRA and 26 






WorLdwide tablet shipments from Taiwan expected to go from 35 million units in 2011 to a 
whopping 116 million units in 2014! 



Taiwanese-owned companies manufacture more than 70 per cent of all LCD monitors in 
the entire world. Major brands include ASUS and BenQ, which have a strong Indian base 

of Taiwan's leading ICT brands showcased 
100 of their best technological products to 
the business partners and citizens in South 
India. In addition, 18 Taiwanese brands of 
them further joint-sponsored and equipped 
4 Indian young opinion leaders with a com- 
plete IT Travel Kit to travel with and blog 
about from Oct. 14-Nov. 3. Interested IT en- 
thusiasts may follow their blogs to get a per- 
sonal insight of these Taiwan technologies 
from these 4 IT travelers on http://www.it- 
travelersgo.com Lucky followers may also Taiwan strives for innovation and research, 

^. ^_^ J ^1 J. J like this Folding Phone concept from 

wm a Taiwan ICT gadget by readmg and T_ia.i-rui r. uto-o-o. 

^ ^ ^ ^ Industrial Technology Research Institute, 

sharing these blogs with your friends. Taiwan and Pilot Fish 

What about India? 

We're not just buyers, as some would 
think. Yes, although manufacturers from 
all over the world are targeting the spend- 
ing power of rich to middle-class Indians, 
it's the average Indian developer that will 
gain the most. Thanks to Taiwanese ex- 
pertise in manufacturing, an ever increas- 
ing number of people are buying the latest, 
sleek, intelligent products -based on pop- 
ular platforms such as Windows and An- 
droid. Since these same products are sold 
by Taiwan brands globally, a rather large 
worldwide market opens up to the Indian 
developer. The timing has never been bet- 
ter for an India-Taiwan (software-device) 
combination that can take over markets all 
over the globe - a rather win-win situation 
for both sides. 



16 



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er and your TV, and voila! Live broadcasts on 
your iPad or Windows PC. You can watch an 
HBO movie on your PC, or catch the news on 
your iPad! If that's not enough, you can also 
record and playback with a mere click. 




BenQ Joybee GP2 

This mini LED projector is packed to the 
brim with loads of features. It includes an 
all-in-one iPhone/iPod-compatible dock, an 
optional battery pack for 2 hrs of viewing 
time, power-efficient SLED projection, 
720p short-throw projection, 200 ANSI 
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WATCH 



Although we can't feature aLL of the 
hundreds of products that Taiwanese brands 
Launch - on pretty much a weekly basis, 
at that - we can give you a peek at the top 
products to conne fronn Taiwan, which wiLL hit 
Indian stores soon 




ASUS G74SX 

The latest bad 
boy among 

high-perform- 
ance gaming 
laptops, the 
ASUS G74SX 
has a 17.3-inch, 

full HD, Glare 3D screen, a quad-core In- 
tel Core 17 2670QM processor, 16 GB of 
DDR3 RAM, 2 x 750 GB, 7200 rpm hard 
drives and an NVIDIA GeForce GT S60M 
GPU with 3 GB of dedicated RAM! If that 
doesn't tame the most demanding games, 
nothing else will. Overall, a jewel from 
the ASUS stable. 



ADATA Nobility SH14 
Portable Hard Drive 

ADATA Nobility SH14 Portable Hard Drive 
features military-grade shock resistance, and 
is water-resistant thanks to its smooth, non- 
sHp, silicone exterior. It's a 2.5-inch, 5400 
RPM drive and delivers a blazing fast 90 Mbps 
transfer rate thanks to the USB 3 interface. 
Available in passion red and jet black, and 500 
GB, 750 GB, and 1 
TB capacities, this 
stylish new addition 
brings to the market 
a strong combination 
of fashion and 
ultimate durability! 




notebook 




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MSI GT680 

If the computing work that you do entails churning around 
large amounts of data, then you must get hold of a device like 
the GT680. This laptop is supported by MSI's turbo drive 
engine technology, which can boost up speeds by as much as 
75 per cent! The laptop also features an exclusive cooler boost 
technology, so you never have to worry about overheating, 
especially considering the power on tap here. 




ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 

ASUS' Transformer has a 10.1-inch screen 
and is a cross between a tablet and a lap- 
top. Use the docking station and you have 
a notebook PC with a comfortably spaced 
QWERTY keyboard; detach the dock and 
it's a tablet - just walk away, still computing 
to your heart's con- 
tent. The device 
runs Android 3.0 
Honeycomb and 
supports 10 -finger 
multi-touch. Un- 
der the hood is a 
dual-core 1 GHz 

NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB RAM and 
16/32GB storage. The docking station has its 
own battery, and the combined device can 
stay powered for up to 16 hours! 

ASUS Padfone 

Another breakthrough product from ASUS 
which combines smartphone and tablet into 
one symbiotic device that allows you to choose 
the screen size that best fits your activities. With 
the Padfone, the smartphone docks inside the 
tablet to recharge from the tablet's larger bat- 
tery and the tablet 
can also make use 
of the smartphone's 
3G internet connec- 
tion. Apps transition 
seamlessly when 
you switch between 
the two devices too! 
Brilliant! 

HTC Explorer 

HTC has just introduced ones of its most af- 
fordable, yet full-featured Android smart- 
phones, HTC Explorer, that looks set to 
provide feature phone upgraders with more 
innovation options. Dubbed HTC Explorer, it 
sports a distinctive design, 600 MHz proces- 
sor and a 480x320 HVGA capacitive display. 
The petite, well-built HTC Explorer, which 
will feature Sense 3.5 and comes with An- 
droid's Gingerbread 2.3 build, wiU be avail- 
able Asia starting in Q4 
2011, with India as the glo- 
bal launch market. HTC 
Explorer offers users the 
perfect blend of ease of use, 
design and trademark HTC 
innovation that promises to 
be a hit in the budget smart- 
phone market. 




riTc 




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18 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



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Enter 



YouTube sells merchandise 

YouTube Launched its Merch store, which aLLows 
buying and selling of merchandise, including music 



Inner Eye 



A smartphone ultrasound device has been 
launched, facilitating scanning on the go 



Google enters its teen years, celebrates 
with a party-themed doodle 



Now officially a 
teenager, Google 
celebrated its IS^h 
birth anniversary 
on September 27^^ along with 
a doodle on its homepage fea- 
turing the five letters of the 
company logo donning party 
hats, seated around a cake with 
balloons and gifts - a typical 
birthday party scene. 

When clicked, the Google 
doodle directs you to the search 
results for "Google". The popular 
search engine giant was started as 



[1 




II 


9m^ Im^ Pm iiiliilBili- 



a research project by Larry Page 
and Sergey Brin in 1996. The com- 
pany filed for Inc. on September 4, 
1998 and booked the Google.com 



domain on September 15, 1998. 
However, the company officially 
chose to celebrate its birthday on 
September 27. 



Google's 13th anniversary 
comes at a time when the 
Internet giant is facing stiff 
competition from Facebook. As 
you may have already noticed, 
the rivalry between Google and 
Facebook has intensified, with 
both sides frequently rolling 
out new services and features. 
On the other hand, Google still 
enjoys strong presence online 
with research showing that 
Google is maintaining a nearly 
90 per cent share of the global 
search engine market. Q 



The world loses 
anicxDH 



Steve Jobs passed away 
on October S^h, aged 
56, succumbing 
to the pancreatic 
cancer he'd been battling 
since 2004. The co-founder 
and chief architect of one of 
the biggest companies in the 
world, Apple Inc., Jobs was 
a visionary who had a large 
hand in shaping the world we 
live in today, giving us every- 
thing from the personal com- 
puter, to digital music distri- 
bution and the quintessential 
smartphone. 

Apart from the words 
from Apple's Board of 
Directors, newly appointed 
Apple CEO Tim Cook, and 
Bill Gates, tributes from the 
common man are flooding 
the Internet, with people 
also flocking to 
Apple's stores and 
offices to leave 



mementos, flowers, pictures 
and post-its in memoriam to 
the enigmatic futurist. 

A creative genius, Steve 
Jobs's zealful personality was 
one of the principal driving 
forces behind personal com- 
puting, one of the folks "crazy 
enough" to change the world. 
The sad news of his demise 
has had a profound effect 
on all of us. R.I.P Steve Jobs. 




Samsung launches 
mirrorless camera - 
theNX200 



Samsung is now setting 
its sights on the high- 
end camera segment 
as it reveals its target 
to sell nearly 150,000 - 250,000 
units of its "mirrorless" cameras 
by the end of this year. Samsung 
has high expectations from 
its NX range of cameras, which 
are known for their interchange- 
able lenses and mirrorless 
design. Samsung's announce- 
ment comes close on the 
heels of the launch of the 
new NX Series camera called 
the NX200. 

The NX200 has been ini- 
tially launched in Korea and 
is likely to be rolled out glo- 
bally by the end of October. It 
is said to be a lighter and sleeker 
version of its predecessors 
and is capable of taking faster 
shots without distorting the 
quality of the images. The 



vnJ 



device has been priced at $840 
(^40,000) in Korea. 

However, it's not only 
Samsung who's manufacturing 
mirrorless cameras. Brands 
such as Olympus and Pana- 
sonic have already been selling 
mirrorless cameras for quite 
some time now. The latest to join 
the mirrorless camera band- 
wagon is Nikon with its Nikon 1 
series camera. The cameras 
are scheduled to go on sale 
in Japan and are expected to 
be priced between $500-1,000 
(^25,000-50,000)0 



20 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



^ 



Headphone for the spinners 

David Guetta Launched Beats mixer DJ cans made 
by Dr Dre Tiiis lieadset lias been designed witii 
DJs in mind 




Nikon Coolpix P7100 

Nil<Gn P7100 is for a iiigii-end user, sporting 
a 10.1 megapixel CCD and a 7.1x optical 
zoom Lens witii Vibration Reduction 



Buzz 



Sennheiser India intros three 
Adidas Originals headpliones 
for the festive season 



Sennheiser Electronics 
India has launched 
three new headphones 
for the Indian festive 
season, two streetwear models 
for consumers - HD 220 and CX 
310 - and one premium model 
for audio professionals and DJs 
- HD 25, with rotatable capsules 
for one-ear listening. 

All three headphones have 
been launched in collabora- 
tion with Adidas Originals. 
According to the press release, 
the "trefoil brand" has been 




"linked to the music scene for 
a long time and is connected 
uniquely to the beginnings of 
Hip Hop in the 1980s." What 



this means here is that famous 
trefoil design of the brand, 
and/or its current three-stripes 
Originals avatar, will feature 
prominently onboard, making 
the headphones even more 
appealing to sports fans, hip 
hoppers and the general youth. 
For more details about the 
Sennheiser Adidas Originals 
headphones, refer to the Sen- 
nheiser India site at littp://bit. 
Ly/pugUYO. They're available 
at all major electronic stores 
across the countryH 



Croma offers Intel Anti-Theft Service 



Croma has announced 
that it's now retalLIng 
Intel Anti-Theft Tech- 
nology (Intel AT), as 
an optional upgrade for Sandy 
Bridge-based laptops at its 
stores. The initiative is said 
to be a first of its kind in the 
country and is available exclu- 
sively at Croma. 

The Intel Anti-Theft Service 
is custom activated on laptops 
with the Sandy-Bridge proces- 
sors, and allows customers 



to remotely lock down their 
missing, or stolen laptops. The 
built-in technology works even 
if the hard drive is reimaged, a 
new hard drive installed, or the 
boot order changed. The laptop 
will remain locked, and will not 
boot. The lock down is activated 
via an Internet notification or 
intelligent hardware timers. 

Users will be able to also 
display a custom message on 
their locked laptops. Laptops 
can then be fully revived to 



normal functionality with the 
user's personal password. 

Croma will offer the theft 
protection service bundled 
with select laptops as well 
as offering it as a paid option 
starting ^199 for a period 
of two years. Intel will be 
responsible for service 
hosting, customer support 
and working with different 
OEMs to ensure their laptop 
hardware is embedded with 
the technology. H 



Indian 
government 
Launches 
Aakash tablet; 
to be sold for 
^3k in retail 

The Indian govern- 
ment's ultra-low cost 
tablet, now known as 
"Aakash", has been 
officially launched. The Aakash 
tablet, previously nicknamed 
as Sakshat, looks different from 
the prototype flaunted by the 
telecom minister, Kapil Sibal, 
last year. However, the specs 
of the device remain as previ- 
ously reported. 

The Aakash tablet will be 
manufactured by Datawind, it 
runs on the Android 2.2 Froyo 
OS and offers Wi-Fi and USB 
connectivity 256 MB of RAM, 
2GB in-built storage, which 
is expandable by up to 32 GB 
via microSD (2GB microSD 
card bundled). 

There are two versions of 
the device — the more basic 
Aakash tablet, for educational 
institutions, will be sold at $35 
(?1,750) and the Ubislate tablet, 
for retail at $60 (^3,000). The 
UbiSlate come bundled with a 
cellular mode DataWind has 
also set up a new production line 
in Hyderabad to manufacture 
the tablets. U 




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Connections 



26 



Mobile watch 

A round-up of the major smartphone 
OSs on the market 



30 



Security watch 

Hackers, privacy, stuxnet, see what's 
troubling the web today 



Facebook unveils Timeline 
and Open Graph apps at f8 
Developer Conference 



Facebook CEO Mark 
Zuckerberg announced 
some brand new fea- 
tures which you will 
see on Facebook in the coming 
weeks, at the f8 Conference in 
San Francisco. Zuckerberg laid 
out Facebook's vision for the 
future of profiles on Facebook, 
integration of music streaming 
services, news aggregation and 
other content spotting on the 
web site. 




Mark Zuckerberg introduces TimeLine 



The first feature that was 
unveiled was Timeline. This is a 
complete revamp of the website. 
Timeline is a new way to express 
yourself to the world. It aggre- 
gates all the content you have 
created and uploaded on Face- 
book in a nice flip book sort of 
way. The idea behind this being 
that a person is much more than 
his present status, according to 
Zuckerberg. 

There is a central line which 
splits your screen into half and 
there are dots which expand 
on either side of the line to give 
information on the person. As 
you scroll down you will get to 
know about the major events 
from the person's life in the form 
of photos, videos, status updates. 



apps, etc. This timeline 
goes back upto 2004 
and then you have a 'Way 
Back' section where you 
can upload content from 
before 2004. Think baby 
pictures from your birth 
year, your award win- 
ning school essay, videos 
from your uncle's wed- 
ding, etc., all before 2004. 

One interesting aspect of 
Timeline is the huge header 
image which it allows 
you to upload. Scrolling 
through the profile can 
also highlight aspects 
of the users personality. 
For instance, if you are a 
photographer or a musi- 
cian, then you can put up 
a powerful header image 
which communicates that 
fact. You have complete 
control over who views 
your timeline. 

Another feature Maps fea- 
ture, which lets you view where 
all you have been all these years. 
This is possible thanks to the 
Facebook Places integration. 

How many times have you 
wanted to check out an app and 
had to answer that pop up asking 
your permission? Well, Open 
Graph is a whole new category of 
apps which will allow you to add 
activity to your stream without 
addressing any unwanted 
prompts asking for permission. 
You will get a single Permissions 
page that will allow publishing 
of all the app related data on 
your timeline. 

Pattern Recognition was 
a common theme in the key- 




Facebook timeLine 



note of Zuckerberg. He plans 
to make sharing a seamless 
experience on Facebook. Stuff 
like streaming music, TV con- 
tent and news sharing has been 



around since ages. But Facebook 
with its new Open Graph app 
ecosystem, plans to collaborate 
with a lot of news websites, 
music streaming services and 
TV content streaming services 
to allow you to read news, watch 
TV and listen to music based on 
what your friends are doing. 
So if your friend is listening to 
a particular song, you will get 
an update in your Facebook 
ticker about the same, and you 
can start listening to that same 
track simultaneously provided 
you have the necessary app. H 



Airtel Broadband Launches 
'Smartbytes' additional 
data usage packs 



A: 



IrteL Broadband customers irked about the fair usage 
poLicy and high-speed data transfer Linnits on their 
'unlimited' plans might be happy to Learn of the com- 
i pany's Latest announcement. Now, instead of settLing for 
a Lower bandwidth after reaching their data usage Limits, customers 
can purchase additionaL data usage packs caLLed Smartbytes. 

AirteL Smartbytes range from 1GB to 50GB and start from ?99. 
Apart from "augmenting their high speed data transfer Limit", AirteL 
Broadband customers wiLL now have a way to track their monthLy 
data usage, with notifications about their billing cycle and the 
amount of data Left in their plan. AirteL already sends notifications 
to customers when they've reached 80% and 100% of their high 
speed data transfer Limits. 

To use the AirteL Smartbyte service, customers who've used 
more than 80% of their data transfer limit plan can log on to 
http://airtel.in/smartbytes via their AirteL DSL connection, and opt 
for their choice of additionaL data usage packs, which have been 
Listed below with their pricing: 

• IGBfor^gg 10GB for ?499 

• 2GB for ^59 20GB for ?799 

• 5GBfor?299 50GB for n,499 



22 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



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Connections 



e 



Chrome overtakes Mozilla 

Chrome has finaLLy overtaken Firefox in terms 
of acceptance 



Larry and the fox 

MoziLLa has integrated twitter search into 
Firefox 8 



Google unveils the digital Dead Sea 
Scrolls - ancient texts, indexed 



In keeping with its pro- 
fessed aim of digitizing 
the real world, so that it 
is accessible, indexed, 
and searchable online, Google 
has collaborated with the Israel 
Museum, and brought the Dig- 
ital Dead Sea Scrolls online. 

The Dead Sea Scrolls are 
considered by historians to 
be the oldest known biblical 
manuscripts in existence, dating 
back to the third century BCE 
and first century CE. The scrolls 
were discovered in eleven caves 
on the shores of the Dead Sea, 
between 1947 and 1956, and have 
provided scarcely known details 
about the Second Temple Period, 
alongside the birth of Christi- 
anity and Rabbinic Judaism. 




Digital Dead Sea ScroLLs 

Five complete scrolls have 
been digitized so far, with The 
Great Isaiah Scroll the only one 
featuring the translation option. 
More will presumably, follow. 



Accessible by all, the Dead Sea 
Scrolls Digital Project allows 
users to examine these ancient 
treatises in great detail, with 
fast-loading, searchable high- 



res images and soon, complete 
translations as well. Users will 
also be able to submit transla- 
tions in their own languages. 

Also provided along- 
side are explanatory videos, 
background information on 
the texts and details about 
their history. The Dead Sea 
Scrolls Digital Project is 
certainly a laudable effort 
by Google, and history 
buffs have inarguably been 
given a rich new source 
of excitement, sitting in the 
comfort of their homes. We 
look forward to other treasured 
and preserved works making 
their way online, to be 
preserved indefinitely, digitally, 
and available to all. CI 



Indian government offers 
ISP License to Qualcomm 



The Indian government 
has granted an ISP 
License to QuaLcomm. 
Tlie autliorisation 
paves the way for the com- 
pany to Launch its broadband 
services in the country. 

QuaLcomm had paid nearLy 
$1 biLLion to win Broadband 
WireLess Access (BWA) spec- 
trum for four circLes - DeLhi, 
Mumbai, KeraLa and Haryana. 
To Launch its services in the 
country, the company was 
required to get the ISP License 
from the Department of TeL- 
ecommunication (DoT). How- 
ever, the appLication for the 
License was rejected for osten- 
sibLy missing the deadLine, and 
seel<ing a different License. 



QuaLcomm yesterday dis- 
cLosed that it had received a 
Letter from the Indian teLecom 
ministry, granting it a License for 
the four zones. "QuaLcomm has 
received a Letter dated October 
10 from the department of teL- 
ecommunications offering to 
grant us a Licence covering aLL 
the service areas for which we 
won spectrum," the company 
said in response to a query. 

Confirming the deveLop- 
ment, teLecom secretary R 
Chandrasekharsaid, "A decision 
has been taken to grant an ISP 
Licence to the company." He fur- 
ther added that the decision is 
with respect to one subsidiary 
designated by the company as 
a nominee. EI 



Sony security breach 
temporarily affects 93,000 
PSN, SEN and SOE accounts 



It's been a while since 
Sony was hacked, and it 
seems a bunch of hackers 
feels much the same way, 
briefly gaining access to a large 
number of PlayStation Network, 
Sony Entertainment Network, 
and Sony Online Entertainment 
accounts in mid-October. 

Sony announced the breach 
this morning, after it had locked 
down approximately 93,000 
affected accounts. According to 
the Japanese giant, the hackers 
possessed "a massive set of 
sign-in IDs and passwords," 
and but were only able to access 
"less than one-tenth of 1 per- 
cent" of all accounts - making 
this breach not as massive as the 
first one which took out 77 mil- 



lion PSN and Qriocity accounts 
earlier this year. 

Users whose accounts 
were affected can already 
regain access, with Sony 
sending out password reset 
mails to reactivate the locked 
accounts. While the intruders 
had managed to get past the 
verification stages, the 
affected users' credit card 
information was "not at 
risk", according to Sony. A 
"small fraction" of the 93,000 
accounts however, "showed 
additional activity prior 
to being locked," and Sony is 
investigating what happened 
during this period, and will 
restore any unauthorized 
transactions. EI 



24 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



GIGABYTE 




.gigabyte 



Connections 



Apple iPhone 4S 

The Launch of the iPhone 4S saw 
sales of over four miLLion devices 
over a period of two days 




Aakash in the US 

Why a ?3,000 tablet would 
never succeed in the US bit.ly/ 
oDobAl 



A war in your pocket 



A round-up of the current mobile plat- 
forms vying for your attention 

Symbian OS 



Symbian and 
Nokia have 
shared a very 
long and rich 
heritage in India, with 
the Nokia Symbian 
60 devices being Hter- 
ally synonymous with 
smartphones. Nokia 
later bought Symbian OS 
in 2008 and started developing 
S60v5 as Symbian ^1 through to 
the current Belle. A variant of 
the S60v5, the primary upgrade 
to the OS was the integration 
of the UI into the OS itself, 
which resulted in an increase 
in performance. By this time of 
course, the iPhone and Android 
had launched and Symbian has 
desperately been trying to play 
catch-up ever since. The cur- 




Apple iOS 



The birth of the iOS, for- 
merly iPhone OS, dates 
back to 2007. At the 
time it was launched, 
Nokia with its Symbian OS and 
BlackBerry OS were the reigning 
kings of the smartphone market. 
The initial version of the OS was 
quite simplistic, lacking even 
copy-paste functionality. The 
OS was originally developed for 
the iPhone, but later on further 
developed as a platform for all 
apple devices except the iMac. 
The OS started picking up speed 
at an exponential rate and almost 
single-handedly ousted Nokia 



rent update. Belle, introduced 
re-sizeable, live, widgets and, 
notifications in the lock-screen, 
NFC and numerous UI tweaks. 
The interface is also quite zippy 
and the browser is one of the 
few mobile browsers that sup- 
ports flash natively. The future 
of this OS is still dicey though, 
especially with its owner, 
Nokia, planning a switch to the 
Windows Phone 7.5 OS. 



from its top spot in the smart- 
phone market by the time iOS 
4 was out. The features it intro- 
duced were quite revolutionary 
at the time, but with the advent 
of the open-source Android OS 
and the growing threat from 
Microsoft with its upcoming 
"Mango" update, iOS 4 started to 
look old very fast. Finally, apple 
announced its iOS 5 upgrade for 
iPhone, iTouch and iPad. The 
upgrade, while absolutely huge 
in terms of features was, again, 
mostly essential updates and just 
enough to keep the OS at the same 
level as its competition. iOS 5 did 



Windows Phone 

Microsoft lias been making 
mobiLe operating sys- 
tems for almost 10 years 
now. The interface then 
Looked more Like a simpLified version of 
Windows Desktop OS. Windows MobiLe 
underwent a sLow evoLution, but it wasn't 
tiLL WM6 and further updates that the 
OS actuaLLy acknowledged the fact that 
a touchscreen needed something more 
than a stylus. The interface underwent 
a serious overhaul, and started incorpo- 
rating a text based UI. Finally, in 2010, 
Microsoft launched the completely 

revamped Windows Mobile OS as Windows Phone 7. The interface 
was a very unique, list-based Metro "design language". That and the 
introduction of "live" tiles set the OS apart from its brethren. The initial 
WP7 OS was an aesthetically pleasing, but essentially crippled OS, not 
even having the ability to set custom ring tones. It took 2 major upgrades, 
NODO and Mango, to bring the OS up to speed with the current genera- 
tion platforms. At its current state, WP75, the OS is packed to the gills 
with features and can give any current mobile OS a run for its money. 
It does, however, suffer from a severe lack of apps. A complete list of 
features can be found at http://bitly/WPmAnGo. 





bring along some very 
interesting features 
such as air-play mir- 
roring, an improved 
browser, 
support for 
cloud serv- 
ices, PC-less 
operation and 
many more. 
Apple iOS 
used to set 
the standard 

for OSes in its heydey, but at the 
rate at which OSes are evolving, 
the iOS is now struggling to keep 
up. The OS is still as popular as 



ever though, and as long as Apple 
keeps updating their software, it 
is very unlikely that iOS will fall 
from favour any time soon. 



26 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 




HTC Runnymede 

HTC Runnymede, an Android 2.3 powered 
device, wiLL be caLLed HTC Sensation XL and 
not HTC Bass, Like rumoured earlier 



Mobile watch 



Samsung BADA 

Bada is a linux based 
OS developed by 
Samsung for, as they 
put it, "a smartphone 
for everyone". It was in 2010 
that Samsung announced 
their first Bada 1.0 powered 
device. When the OS was first 
launched, it was a very basic OS 
with just the bare essential features to clas- 
sify it as a smartphone. With the upgrade 
to Bada 2.0, the OS is right up there with all 
the big guns of the smartphone world. The 



Android 



Android is a comparatively new 
entrant in the smartphone OS 
arena, but has risen to popu- 
larity at such a rapid rate that 
it has acquired almost half the smartphone 
market share in the world. The compara- 
tively rapid update cycle meant that despite 
a rocky start, the OS now sets the norm as far 
as the mobile OS is concerned. Android has 
gained a lot of popularity and has completely 
dethroned Nokia and is slowly eating its way 
into Apple's, previously untouchable, market 
share. Now with the release of Android v4.0, 
the OS is packed to the brim with every fea- 
ture you can think off, flash support, apps, 
"goggles", NFC (Android Beam), threaded 

BlackBerry OS 

The ubiquitous businessman's 
smartphone, BlackBerry did to 
email what apple did to music. 
BlackBerry tightly integrates its OS 
with its devices and tries to ensures quality 
"push" mail service no matter what. Now, 
with almost every service that a BlackBerry 




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recognition, multitasking, a 
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flash support, NFC, Push noti- 
fications and many more. The 
app marketplace has also slowly 
been growing and now includes 
over 7,000 apps. Samsung has 
announced plans to make this 
OS open source and to also integrate it into 
their upcoming Smart TVs as well. Overall, 
this OS does have a lot of potential. How the 
public receives it remains to be seen. 




messaging, tethering, face recognition and 
many more. The v4.0 upgrade is supposed 
to be a merger of Honeycomb and Ginger- 
bread. The upgrade does not seem like any- 
thing much when compared to the iOS 5 or 
Mango updates, but this is because the OS 
already had most of those features integrated 
to begin with. This OS is here to stay and is 
only getting better with time. 



provides available on most smartphones, BB 
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always been a very good, reliable and secure 
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device. The recently announced BBX OS 
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Berry as a device. It will run on the QNX plat- 
form which means that will not be backward 
compatible with 0S7 devices. The 0S7 update 
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much better browser and HD video recording. 
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Connections 




Monolithic Projector! 

The MonoLith iPhone case has an inbuilt 
projector and battery bacl<up and is capable of 
projecting images at a resolution of 640x360 



Price-friendly phone 

Samsung has Launched the GaLaxy Y, a 
Low-cost, Android Gingerbread device 
withtheTouchWizSUI 



Everyday security threats! 

The idea of a secure watertight Web still remains an unattainable dream, despite efforts 
to make it a reality. Here's what crippled your web experience last month 



Sony PSN network 
hacked again! 

These guys just can't catch 
a break. Gamers on Sony's 
Playstation Network (or PSN) 
skipped a heartbeat yet again 
as the entertainment giant's 
secure network was targeted 
by hackers for the n^^ time 
this year. On a company blog 
entry (goo.gL/HH38W), Sony's 
Chief Information Secu- 
rity Officer, PhiHp Reitinger 
announced that "less than one 
tenth of one percent (0.1%)" of 
the networks' users may have 
been affected by a hack attack. 
Well, that itsy-bitsy number 
roughly constitutes about 
93,000 user accounts. Yeah, 
you read that right. 

However, Sony maintains 
that credit card data of affected 
user accounts isn't at risk. 
"We will work with any users 
whom we confirm have had 




unauthorized purchases made 
to restore amounts in the PSN/ 
SEN or SOE wahet," Reitinger 
further said. If you can't get 
on to Sony's PSN, don't fret- 
affected Sony Online Enter- 
tainment accounts have been 
turned off. Users "will receive 
an email from us at the address 
associated with your account 



that will advise you on next 
steps in order to validate your 
account credentials and have 
your account turned back on." 

Meanwhile, 
Facebook's privacy 
woes continue... 

Security and privacy glitches 
constantly hound Face- 
book, an unwanted trend 
for the world's largest social 
network. To counter the spread 
of malicious links through 
its medium, Facebook recently 
started scanning for mali- 
cious URLs on its network - a 
seemingly wise move, right? 
Yes, maybe, but FB's new 
security measure didn't work 
for too long. 

A certain "hatter" from a 
hacking group called Blackhat 
Academy provided a live demo 
of how to circumvent Face- 
book's latest security feature. 
There goes Facebook's part- 
nership with Websense to 
use a real-time, cloud-based 
scanner for detecting mali- 
cious viral URLs. Probably 
didn't see that coming, did you 
Facebook? Let's hope you up 
the ante some more. 

IE9 is more secure 
than Chrome, 
Firefox 

Yeah, that's right. According 
to a recent report, Microsoft 
has launched a new web site to 
educate netizens about secu- 
rity issues in modern Web 
browser, hoping they take 
browser security extremely 
seriously. The web site - your- 
browsermatters.org - lets you 
gauge the strength of your 




browser against the nasties 
of the Internet. 

For example, the web site 
lets you view scores of various 
browsers — Internet Explorer, 
Google Chrome, and Mozilla 
Firefox are the only browsers 
supported for now. It isn't 
surprising that Microsoft's 
IE9 scores a perfect 4 out of 
4; Chrome and Firefox don't 
get full marks. There's no 
detailed explanation in the 
"malware" tab of the window 
as to how Microsoft tabulates 
scores, but we guess, just like 
beautyoftheweb.com, one will 
have to take these scores with 
a pinch of salt. 

Microsoft argues on its blog 
(goo.gL/z5eLt), citing its latest 
Security Intelligence Report 
(goo.gL/DHDnS), that zero-day 
attacks amount for less than 
10 per cent on the web these 
days, where most successful 
malware proliferate through 
outdated software and social 
media. And as IE9 is better 
in countering these specific 
holes, you're better off using 
it. Compelling argument? 

On hacker territory 

If you were ever wondering 
how a hacker forum compares 
to any other online forum, 
wait no more. Imperva, a 
security firm, has released 



a monthly report detailing 
the topic trends of an online 
hacker forum with 2,20,000 
registered members. Although 
most of the members are 
dormant, the forum is a 
hotbed for hackers discussing 
training methods. It's a plat- 
form for collaborating, recruit- 
ment and even commercial 
activities (selling stolen 
data and malware). It's an 
insightful read, just go here: 
http://goQ.gL/cPJP7 

Stuxnet returns 

A worm, using a variant of the 
stuxnet code, labelled Duqu 
because of the DQ prefix 
on files it creates, has been 
detected and is currently 
being analysed by McAfee 
and Symantec among others. 
The worm is essentially sim- 
ilar to Stuxnet and thus, is 
targeting industrial systems 
at the moment. It's currently 
only gathering detailed infor- 
mation including security 
certificate which, experts sug- 
gest, will be used for launching 
further attacks. The virus 
was initially designed with a 
lifespan of 36 days and experts 
are very concerned as to what 
Duqu 2 will be like. Espe- 
cially considering that stuxnet 
was designed to pull down 
Iran's nuclear program. E3 



30 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 





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Connections 






Project Roslyn 

Microsoft has reinvented compiLers with 
RosLyn TechnoLogy that deconstructs every 
piece of code as a service 



High-tech magic 

Watch Marco Tempest puLL off some amazing 
high-tech magic tricks invoLving iPhones, 
GoogLe+ and more http://bit.ly/qjCmfg 



Racing fever on your smartphone! 

With Fornnula 1 coming to India for the first time, the excitement has ensured that a 
lot more people than ever before follow Fl now. For the true fans amongst us, there 
are a bunch of smartphone apps that are helpful. Particularly when Race Day is on 
and you're away from a television 



Vishal Mathur 

vishal. mathur@thinkdigit. com 

Fl 2011 Timing 
AppCP 

By: Soft Pauer 
Available for Android, 
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad 
Price: ?1,455 (Android Market), 
n,589 (Apple App Store) 
Download size: 1.28 - 15.1 MB 








Fl 2011 Timing AppCP 



This is a must-have applica- 
tion for all Fl fans. Featuring 
live updates of lap times, maps 
with the car positions on 
track and the ability to follow 
a driver around the circuit. 
Plus, you get text updates. We 
know this is a slightly pricey 
app, but it's definitely worth 
it. Just make sure you have a 
fast net connection with an 
unlimited data plan. 




FormuLal.conn 2011 

Formulal.com 2011 

By: FormuLal.com 
Available for: Android, 
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, 
BLackBerry and Symbian 
Price: FREE (on aLL platforms) 
Download size: 1.1 -2.3 MB 

A truly global app for the smart- 
phone ecosystem, it covers most 
smartphone platforms. You get 
race weekend details, session 
timings, live timings, track data, 
lap times and the championship 
standings. Download this on 
your phone, it's free anyway. 

Fl 2011 Live24 (also 
known as Live- 
sports24 Fl Racing) 

By: Genera Mobile 
Available for: Android, 
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad 
Price: FREE (on aU platforms) 
Download size: 1.1 - 1.6 MB 

This app perfectly blends func- 
tionality, lots of features and a 



visually impressive UI. Multiple 
boxes display all the info you 
need. In the first tab, you see the 
countdown to the race, updates 
when it goes live, the venue and 
the venue track weather condi- 
tions. The second tab shows the 
date and time of the various ses- 
sions scheduled for that race 
weekend. An image gallery is 
also available, as are dedicated 
profiles for each driver, complete 
with their career stats. 

Racing games: 

If you don't want to follow 
Fl seriously, we're sure 
some racing games for the 
smartphones will surely catch 
your fancy. 

• NFS Shift - available for 
Android and iOS. 

• NFS Shift 2 Unleashed - 
available for iOS 

• Asphalt 6 Adrenaline - avail- 
able for Android and iOS. H 





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1 
1 


RIM 
explains 
reasons for 
BlackBerry 
Crash 

—^he fact that BLack- 
Berry services were 
out for almost three 
days, spanning four conti- 
nents (Yes, America joined 
the fray on the third day), led 
to a Lot of teeth gnashing 






^^' BlackBerry 




1 
1 

\ 

1 

\ 

1 

\ 


RIM released a statement 
saying, 'Although the system 
s designed to failover to a 
3ack-up switch, the failover 
did not function as previously 
tested. As a result, a large 
oacklog of data was gener- 
ated and we are now working 
to clear that backlog and 
^estore normal service as 
quickly as possible. We 
apologize for any incon- 
venience and we will con- 
tinue to keep you informed.' 
^part from the services not 
yvorking properly, it was 
very annoying that none of 
Dur cellular operators were 
giving out information about 
the reasons why the services 
yvere down and when they 
yvould be back. Three days 
Df sheer madness! EI 





32 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 




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Cover story 



Mostly Priceless 

You may or may not have heard of these games, but we really think you should play 
them. There's nothing to lose, after all - they're all free! 




Sriram Gurunathan 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

Cave Story 

Cave Story is a 2004 2D platform- adventurer 
for the PC which features a silent protagonist 
who tries to foil the designs of an evil overlord 
- The Doctor - and 
his army-building 
designs to take over 
the world. He does 
this despite waking 
up in a cave (where 
else?) with no recol- 
lection of his past 

Gameplay is primarily puzzle platform- 
based, and the player also has weapons he 
can shoot enemies with. Switching between 
multiple weapons is possible, as is the 
leveling up of said weapons via power ups 
and capacity upgraders. In the same vein 
though, taking damage can downgrade 
your weapons. Link: http://bit.Ly/2PuKWy 

Corporate Climber 

Most of things we do in our lives have 
made their way into video games, so why 
should climbing the corporate ladder be 
any different? In the browser game Corpo- 
rate Climber, the player aims to... er... climb, 
crawl and trample his way right from the 
bottom rung (a lowly peon who for some 
reason is naked) to the very top of his 
organisation. 

This is done by platforming through 
levels where you're given specific tasks 
to complete, which range from avoiding 
some naughty toilets to sending as 



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many spam mail as you can. The game 
is pretty fun, with plenty of subtle 
and not-so-subtle jabs at the corporate 
culture and materialistic lifestyles most 
of us lead. Link: http://bit.Ly/aNfRuM 

International Cricket 
Captain 2005 

Think you're better than the Mahendra 
Singh Dhonis of the world? This is the 
game for you then. You can choose to 
captain an English county side and work 
your way up to, or start directly off with, 
an international side of your choosing. 
The ICC series are Sports sims devoid of 
any actual gameplay - your role is more 
of a non-playing captain or coach as you 
supervise training schedules and team 
selection, set fields and decide batting and 
bowling strategies. You can then sit back 
and watch the action unfold on the game's 
highlight engine. Link: http://bit.Ly/oG9ylq 

One Chance 

Another browser game, this one features 
a rather interesting premise. All of Earth's 




living cells are going to be destroyed in the 
next six days, and you have the choice to 
live your last days any way you want to. 
The game has multiple endings that are 
triggered by your actions throughout the 
game, but as the title says - you only get 
One Chance - and only one ending. There 
are ways to work around that, of course. We 
really liked the concept and the ADV-like 
execution. Link: http://bit.Ly/el88oP 



Trilby's Notes 

This game is part of the Chzo My thos series cre- 
ated by Yahtzee, of Zero Pronunciation fame, 
and is the third game of the series. Chrono- 
logically though, it slots in at second. The 
series borrows horror themes from other 
forms of fiction, with Trilby's Notes fesituYing 
a rather undesirable alternate dimension a 
la Silent Hill. 




While the earlier two games in the 
series featured point-and-click game- 
play. Trilby's Notes relies on keyboard 
navigation and a text parser for inputing 
commands. The game is widely con- 
sidered to have solid writing and chal- 
lenging puzzle gameplay, and we don't 
particularly disagree. Give it a go regard- 
less of whether you enjoy your chills and 
thrills or not. Link: http://bit.Ly/22bF50 

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 

SMB Crossover is a browser game that is - like 
its name says - a crossover. The levels are still 
from Super Mario Bros., but the player now 
has the option to call in quite a few charac- 
ters from other games in the NES era. These 
include Bill from Contra, Link from Zelda, 
Samus from Metroid and MegaMan, to name 
a few. Each character brings 
in its own set of moves and 
attacks to the table, but in a 
way that fits with the 
Mario universe , 
and gameplay 
mechanics. 

A lot 
of thought 

has been put into adapting the charac- 
ters for Mario, and it shows. The player 




34 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



Cover story 



has the ability to choose the character 
he wants to play with at the beginning 
of each level, and this choice is quite an 
important one because a character's quirks 
could make the level easier. Contrarily 
they can also make the stage impos- 
sible to clear, so choose wisely How 
this hasn't been hit with a lawsuit, we 
don't know, but we aren't complaining 
because this is one mashup that works 
spectacularly Link: http://bit.Ly/bZlCrT 

OpenTTD 

OpenTTD is an Open Source adaptation and 
expansion pack to Chris Sawyer's (who later 
created the Rollercoaster Tycoon amusement 
park sim franchise) Transport Tycoon Deluxe. 
It adds bigger maps, online multiplayer and 
other features to the transport sim where 
players managed a company that dabbled in 




rail, road, naval and air transport to deliver 
cargo - be it goods, passengers or mail - to 
and from industries and cities. 

We sank hours and hours into Trans- 
port Tycoon Deluxe back in the day, and 
we're most definitely glad to see an Open 
Source version that is much improved, 
supports various operating systems 
and allows user-generated content and 
patches. Link: http://bit.Ly/loKPts 

But That Was Yesterday 

It's strange, we'd love to tell you what this 
short, abstract game is about, but we'd also 
hate to in fear of hampering your whole 
experience. What we can tell you, however, 
is that this atmospheric platformer has a 
quirky narrative that somehow manages 




to both, depress and uplift you at the same 
time. The animation is sweet, as is the overall 
game design. The game lasts around 10-15 
minutes on an average, but we believe it's 
something definitely worth checking out. 
Link: http://bit.Ly/adb42T 



Frets on Fire X 

With the Guitar Hero and Rock Band music 
franchises dead, what better time than now 
to recommend this little gem? Frets of Fire is 
a game for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X 
that aims to replicate the Guitar Hero expe- 
rience. Players have to consistently hit the 
right keys at the right time in order to get 
some good multipliers going and eventu- 
ally a high score. 






Frets on Fire X, which was a series of 
mods that ended up branching off from 
the original game, features support for 
upto four players and tracks for drums, 
bass guitars and vocals. The Fret Editor 
gives users the ability to create and edit 
custom song challenges. Frets on Fire X 
has access to a user-generated library 
of over 2,800 songs, which is hours 
and hours of entertainment if you enjoy 
this genre. Link: http://bit.Ly/lEqP7B 

Total Extreme Wrestling 2005 

TEW2005is a pro-wrestling business simu- 
lator that lets players run a wrestling pro- 
motion the way they see fit. Players have 
control over the storylines, matches and their 
outcomes, and feuds and contracts of their 
organisation, to name a few things. The ulti- 
mate aim of the game is to put on the highest 
quality shows, have the largest fan base and 
make the most money while you're at it. 

The game features a fictional universe, 
but there are real world 
mods available, which 
will give you access 
to real world promo- 
tions, wrestlers and 
staff - a cool addition. 

Mods are also 
available for various 
time periods. So if you 
think you can save 
WCW from going 
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Cover story 



GAMERS ARE 

SOCIAL 

ANIMALSi 



*i5»i9' 



K-H 



■^Y'^": 



Over the years, gamers have been generalised and portrayed as brooding, intro- 
verted geeks, so much so that some might say there's a social stigma attached to 
being a gamer. We play mythbusters and hope to dispel the veil of misinformation 
that surrounds this subject 



Sriram Gurunathan 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

Most people seem to think of 
gamers as dark, anti-social 
beings. Nothing could be 
further from the truth. Gaming is a 
highly social activity, what with the 
extensive number of gamers who 
meet, interact and develop friend- 
ships using gaming as a vehicle. 

Online multiplayer gaming is the 
Facebook of gaming networks. Even 
while seated in their rooms, gamers 
can meet other gamers from all over the 
world by taking their games online. 



an effort to rise up clan rankings. As more 
and more games feature co-operative 
game modes, more and more gamers are 
teaming up in an effort to experience these 
modes. So much so that game sales are 
being influenced most significantly by the 
strength of their multiplayer component, 
rather than by the single-player campaign. 

This escalates when the topic of 
Massively Multiplayer Online Games 





comes up. These games feature per- 
sistent online worlds where players 
compete with, or support each other. 
Players band together to attempt quests 
and clear missions in MMORPGs, 
thus heightening their social activity 




Most games and multiplayer platforms 
such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network 
and Steam also allow you to add others to 
your friends lists and play with them fre- 
quently. And then you have online clans, 
wherein fraggers team up frequently in 




and usually moving their relation- 
ships to the next phase, viz the offline 
world. Take Tamara Langman and John 
Bentley, for example, who met each other 
when logged into World ofWarcraft and 
eventually ended up getting married. 

World ofWarcraft and Runescape are 
the most popular MMORPGs, with the 
former holding a 11+ million paying 
subscriber base, despite using a pay-per- 
month model. Runescape, which is free 
to play, has over 156 million registered 
accounts. These numbers immediately 
tell you that tons of people out there like 
playing games that are purely multiplayer. 



36 



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Cover story 






GAMING IS A SOCIAL NETWORK 



Add casual online games to the mix 
and the list grows even larger. Social 
networking games such as Farmville, Mafia 
Wars and Poker encourage user-to-user 
interaction in terms of gifts, chips and the 
like. TyprX is a useful competitive game 
in work environments - it compares 
typing speeds among individuals. In the 
mobile territory, games such as Word- 
feud recently spiked in popularity, with 
gamers competing on their smartphones. 




Moving offline, we've seen people 
compete with each other over who 
has the higher Angry Birds level score. 
Monster Hunter Portable's popularity 
in Japan rose to very lofty heights, 
as players formed parties and traded 
items using the PSP's ad hoc mode. In 
the competitive gaming scene, LAN 
parties and offline tournaments are as 
popular as always, and the formation 
of clans at the neighbourhood cyber- 
cafe is not an uncommon occurrence 
as gamers converge to get their chal- 
lenging multiplayer fix. Also popular 
are gaming lounges, where tournaments 
are held regularly on top of offering 
multiplayer action along with food 
and drinks. These places are ideal for 
hosting small-scale events, LAN parties 
or tournaments because of the conven- 
ience offered by the all-in-one solution. 

Games such as Starcraft and 
Counter Strike have massive follow- 





We say that because gaming offers a set of features 
that most social networks do, and members of the 
community act in similar ways too! 

• Gamers are constantly teLLing people what's on 
their mind, or what their gaming status is 

• Gamers sometimes take pictures of their pur- 
chases or screenshots just so they can upload 
them and show them off to other gamers 

• Most people on social networks are single. IMost 
gamers are single 



• Girl gamers are immediately hit with a deluge of 
friend requests on PSN and Xbox Live 

• The above two may or may not be related 

• Just like text talk is unfortunately a prominent 
feature of social networks, I33t speak is a promi- 
nent feature of gaming 

• People poke each other on Facebook, gamers 
knife each other 

• Clans and parties are the gaming equivalent of 
groups 



ings, with StarCraft even becoming a 
professional sport in Korea. Matches 
are telecast on TV, and some events 
attract upto L2 lakh people in attend- 
ance! Starcrafters are media celebri- 
ties out there, with one certain player, 
Lim Yo-Hwan having a fan club of 
more than half a million members. 

Casual gaming made a huge splash 
on consoles following the release of 
the Nintendo Wii, and titles such as 
Wii Sports and Just Dance became party 
staples at gamers' houses. Music games 
such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero also 
support multiplayer, which encour- 
ages quite some fun. More recently, 
Kinect and PlayStation Move added 
sizzle to casual games on the Xbox 360 
and PlayStation 3 with titles such as 
Kinect Adventures and Sports Champions. 




When it comes to talking about 
games, gaming forums are the places 
to go. NeoGAF, for example, has nearly 
70,000 registered users who've made 
a total of nearly 32 million posts. 
Gamers discuss past, current and 
upcoming games, cross-platform and 
post-gaming experiences and gaming 
hardware. The latest news in the 
gaming world is also routinely thrown 
around and dissected, helping you 
stay up-to-date with information. 

Other gaming communities are 
web sites and tools such as Playfire 
and Xfire, which provide players with 
lists of the games they've played or 
are playing, complete with their rat- 
ings and screenshots. They can also 
create automated forum signatures 
and the like by tracking your game- 
play via achievements. These are a 
kind of gaming social network, where 
gamers find like-minded people. 

So there you have it! Gamers are 
fiercely social creatures, despite what 
people might tell you. Sure, there may 
be a sizeable number of anti-social 
gamers, but there are people like that 
in every community, gamer or not.H 



38 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.conn 



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Cover story 




It might not matter much to most of us, but India 
Loses an exorbitant amount of money thanks to people 
pLaying Farmville. Read on to find out how and (very 
roughly) just how much 





Sriram Gurunathan 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

Whilst working on the 
gaming issue, someone 
came up with the idea of 
calculating how much 
gaming costs us all in hard cash. Now this 
is obviously ridiculous, and cannot be 
calculated without going insane, but since 
a lot of people in our office seem to waste 
time with FarmVille, we decided to calcu- 
late how much that silly game costs 
India on a yearly basis. We chose 
not to calculate the same for our 
sessions oi Quake III, because 
that actually builds motor skills, 
team spirit, and a whole lot of other good- 
ness - in case the bosses are reading this. 

Now this is no regular calcula- 
tion, and of course it will be anything 
but accurate, but we decided that we'd 
rather err on the side of caution, and be 
extremely conservative with our sup- 
positions - the final figure will no doubt 
be a lot higher than what we arrive at. 

Indian farmers? 

To get anywhere, we'll first have to find 
out (very) roughly how many people in 
India play FarmVille. For this, we'll go 
both with Zynga's global stats and the 
stats given out by Zynga India head, 
Shan Kadavil^^l We have numbers 
available for monthly Zynga logins 
globally (250 million), monthly 



^ 



FarmVille logins globally (60 million) 
and daily Zynga logins from India (1.5 
million). Since FarmVille accounts for 
24 per cent of the monthly Zynga logins 
globally, let's apply the same percentage 
for the daily Zynga logins from India. 

FarmVille probably accounts for 
a higher percentage of traffic in India 
given its popularity here. We'll ignore 
that for now though, and like we said 
earlier, try and work out a rough figure 
to work with. 24 per cent of 15,00,000 
works out to around 3,60,000 Indians 
playing FarmVille every day. 



25 ^ 



Workaholics anonymous 

We went through various studies, 
and found that about 40 per cent of all 
Indians online using a PC, log in from 
their workplace during work hours ^^l 
Applying the 
nationwide 
average to our 
FarmVille users - 
despite logic and 
several studies 
suggesting that 
the numbers 
are probably 
much higher - 
we arrive at the 



^ 



following figure: 

3,60,000 X 40% = 1,44,000 users 
playing FarmVille at work daily! 

Give us our daily wages! 

According to Zynga's Director of Brand 
Advertising, Manny Anekal, the average 
time spent by an Indian playing Farm- 
Ville is 68 minutes a day^^l Assuming 
that most of us office going Indians work 
8 hours a day (we certainly don't have 
that luxury, especially during 
issue closing), that's (68 / 480) 
X 100 = 14.17 per cent of their 
work day on FarmVille. 

Now, the per capita income in 
India is ?46,492, and according to 
another study, the average income of an 
Indian who has access to the internet is 3.2 
times the national average. This means 3.2 



^ 



liGi PmOGMPHm 



1^-15 16-aa 2^'2$ 5fi-3D 31-3S 36-4tS 4 MS 46-SD Sl-SJ S^ 



Here is the age spread of people Logging into FarnnViLLe. Age 21-25 wins 



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Cover story 



^ 




X 46,492 = ^1,48,774 is the average 
annual salary of FarmVille players. 

The average daily income thus 
works out to 1,48,774 / 365 = ^4076. 
Since every FarmVille player, on 
average, spends 14.17 per cent of their 
working day on it, this translates 
to (14.16/100) X 407.6 = ?S7.743 
is being wasted per person 
on FarmVille every day! 
For the whole of India that 
works out to 1,44,000 x 5772 = 
^83,15,040 in wasted wages per day. 
Again, a very conservative figure. 



Bottomlines 

Based on another study, corporate Indian 
companies pay their employees an 
average salary of ?4.8 lakh per annum^^^, 
and make a profit of ?6 lakh per annum 
per employee. This means the profit-to- 
salary ratio per employee works out to 6 
/ 4.8 = 1.25 - for every ?100 a company 
pays you, they expect a profit of ?125. 
Applying that ratio to the amount of 
wasted wages per day we get a figure of 
1.25 X 83,11,680 = ^103,93,800 is being 
lost in terms of Indian com- 
pany profits per day! p^ 



@ 



pomR coH^umprm 




Power struggles 

Moving on, an average PC run- 
'f^\ i^i^g ^ CRT monitor will con- 
sume lOOW per hour, which will 





are on K^i\ i s 



consume 0.1 units. 
Based on our think- 
digit.com analytics data, 
35 per cent of visitors are | 
still using CRT resolu- 
tions - however, to be 
conservative again, we've assumed that 
only 30 per cent of people playing Farm- 
Ville are on CRTs and the rest on LCDs. 
The average PC with an LCD monitor 
uses about 70W per hour, or 0.07 units. 

Thus, we're assuming that of all the 
3,60,000 people playing FarmVille 
(remember this includes home and office 
users, since we're only calculating power 
usage here), 3,60,000 x 30% = 1,08,000 
are on CRTs while 2,52,000 are on LCDs. 
Now the average cost per unit 
of electricity across India is 
?5.5^^l Thus 68 minutes of 
FarmVille per day would 
work out to (5.5 x 
1,08,000 X 0.1 X 68 / 60) + (5.5 
X 2,52,000 X 0.07 x 68 / 60) = 
?68,320 + ^1,09,956 = ^1,78,276 
per day in electric bills. 

This is conserva- 
tive, because we're taking 
a very low power PC and not even 
counting the power that speakers 
draw when you play it with sound. 

Totalling up 

To see details of the totalling up, look 
at the box on your right. What this 
amounts to is that India (which includes 
you, the FarmVille player and hap- 
less Indian companies) spends / loses 
about ^689,37,97,340 per year! 

Now imagine what that total would 
be if you were to start totalling up all 
the losses due to all the games we play 
- even just those in office hours? 

Something tells us we're wasting 
billions of dollars on things such as 
Facebook, Angry Birds, and even good old 
Solitaire... and we didn't even know it! [0 



e 



Link Farming 

^^^Interview with Shan Kadavil, Country Manager Zynga - bit.Ly/pHXTLc 

^^^Internet usage statistics of India - bit.Ly/qVOyGm 

^^^JVIanny Anel<al speaks at SXSW 2011 - on.mash.to/p7VnyY 

^^^Juxt India Online Report Syndicated Research Page - bit.Ly/qjXUSe 

^^^Indian Energy Exchange - bit.Ly/qN02Ig 



dl 





How much India pays to 
play FarmVille everyday: 

^83,15,040 
(employee wages) 

+ 

a03,93,800 
(company losses) 

+ 

a,78,278 
(electric bills) 

^1,88,87,116 

How much India pays to 
play FarmVille every year: 

^1,88,87,118 

X 

385 



tf 




^689,37,97,340 

Yeah, almost 700 crore 
rupees! This doesn't even 
take into account the real 
money being spent on 
micro transactions within 
FarmVille. The next time 
you consider logging into 
FarmVille, ask yourself - 

is this really important? 

Like ?700 crore 

important? 



44 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



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combines two often overlooked 
features: LAN performance and 




audio. It features a Bigfoot 
Networks^"" powered NPU with 
Game Networking DNA software to 
optimize gaming network traffic in 
real-time. To keep your ears 
entertained, a XONAR^"" powered 
audio solution drives crisp audio so 
you can hear 
every little 
detail in 
games. 

Sound and 
speed to 
dominate 
The C5F is 
embedded with an 
Intel® Ethernet port 
for super quick 
connections, but also ROG 
exclusive Game- First technology to 
prioritize and optimize network 
traffic, so 

you can download and game at the 
same time without always getting 
lag-pwned. The onboard audio isn't 
the basic audio in most 
motherboards, but a SupremeFX 
X-Fi with built-in 8 channel 
support. It'll provide you 
with EAX Advanced HD 
as well as THX TruStudio 
sound so you'll hear 



life-like in-game audio, such as 
footsteps from when your enemy 
turns the corner right into your 
waiting gun. 

Performance Royalty 
The AM3+ CPU support is definitely 
nice, but the software got a nice 
bump in features as well. There's 
the newUEFI BIOS that's 
controllable with a mouse. No more 
jamming on the keyboard while you 
adjust BIOS settings, just click, click, 
click away. Once you've booted up, 
you can use the CPU Level-Up 
feature, which gives gamers like 
myself a quick boost of power to 
the CPU for even better 
performance. 




nVIDIA. 






^1' 



^-' 



J 



GEFORCE LAN 2011 
ROUND-UP 



October 14, 2011 saw over 600 gamers, pri- 
marily from India but also a few from across 
the world, converge at the MMRDA Grounds 
in Mumbai for a first of its kind event in India - the 
GeForce LAN 2011 Gaming Tournament. Gamers com- 
peted for the chance to win cash prizes, dedicated 
gaming laptops and a lot of pride. 

Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director Asia South for 
NVIDIA, said: "Gaming is in NVIDIAs soul. Our cutting 
edge technologies allow enthusiasts to play games 
with eye-popping graphics and the latest effects for an 
immersive adrenaline rush like nothing else. Now, with 
GeForce LAN India, we're bringing together the people 
who share our passion for this electronic sport. Like 
other athletes, their skills deserve to be recognised 
and rewarded. 



AN EVENT 
LIKE NO OTHER! 

GEFORCE 
LAN 2011 
WAS THE 
FIRST 
EVENT OF 
ITS KIND IN 
INDIA 



The tournament had gamers competing in a bunch 
of games, most notably Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, 
FIFA 11 and Counter Strike. Orange Esports from 
IMalaysia won the Modern Warfare tournament and 
walked away with Rs. 1 lakh in cash, plus Alienware 
MUX laptops. A similar bounty was handed out to 
team 'Never Say Die' for winning the Counter Strike 
tournament. The fairer sex were also given the chance 



to show off their elite skills, with Ne 



I for Speed and 



Grand Theft Auto tournaments for girls. The winners 
were Roshni. N. Tasi and Dipika Jerome respectively. 
Dipika also got the chance to play Bollywood actor 
Shahrukh Khan at his own game, Ra. One. Chaitanya 
Vadulekar, the FIFA tournament champion, tried his 
hand out at beating SRK too - but at FIFA 11. SRK, who 
calls himself an avid gamer, was there to congratulate 



46 Digit I November 201 




f. 



M 



RftOnj 



the GeForce LAN winners and announce the Launch of 
his own signature Line-up of cards, the G.One Editions 
of the NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti and GTX 520, which feature 
new packaging and fan stickers. 

"NVIDIA provided the technoLogy which made the 
mind-bLowina VFX in Ra.One DossibLe." said Shahrukh 



are irresisiiDiy conneciea ana Ka.une is a perieci 
exampLe. This movie is actuaLLy about a computer 
game! Just as GPUs were fundamentaL to the making of 
Ra.One, they are the key ingredient in every PC. NVIDIA 
GeForce G.One Signature Edition graphics cards put 
the same GPU technoLogy which made Ra.One in the 
hands of consumers to power their personaL entertain- 
ment hub, the PC," who pLays a gamer in the upcoming 



WHAT WENT 
DOWN 

^ Shah Rukh Khar 
congratuLating 
Dipika Jerome and 
handing over her 
winnings 

Gamers focusinc 



-e— 



the GeForce LAN 2011 



The NVIDIA 
GTX 560 Ti, 



coLours of G.One. 



Oranqe Es 



CaLLof Dutv4:Moder 



GeForce LAN 2C 



SRKand 
— NVIDIA unveiL 
the signature G.One 
Edition graphics card 
based on the NVIDIA 



BTX560TiGPU. Not 
ieen in image is the 



I.One Edition GTX 520 




GAME ON. 






P^^.i^j^'r ,' 


> ^ 



Gamers aLsomana 

3D Vision 2 gLasses, with severaL units pLaced aroun 
the arena for peopLe to check out. The 3D Vision 2 
gLasses cLaim to feature Lenses that are 20 per cent 
Larger than those in the first generation, thus resuLting 



mighty impressed. 



ORANGE ESPORTS 






1 


m 


■^Mfj. 



event - GeForce LAN 6 - which was heLd aboard the 
USS Hornet the aircraft carrier and showcased the 
upcoming shooter, BattLefieLd 3. Gamers got the chance 

.^ ^f.< .^...^ ....le aboard the USS Hornet ai.^ ^.^.. 

sLeep in the barracks. Now that is somethin 

get behind, so it wouLd be rather cooL if something Like 

that happened in India. ^ 



I November 201 



Sriram Gurunathan 

reoclersietters@thinkcligitcom 

"I got 99 problems" ssLjs Kanye West in the 
trailer of Battlefield 3, which led gamers 
- especially us Indians - to reflect on 
how we have our own share of problems 
in this country, and here are a few. 

Expensive! 

Everyone needs hardware to game on, 
and even that very first hurdle turns 
into a stumbling block in our country as 
decent hardware is priced quite high and 
out of reach for most people. This initial 
expenditure alone throws a lot of poten- 
tial gamers off, as not many can afford it. 

Sorry no repairs 

Even when you do fork out the 
cash for a console, you're heavily 









unate 



Our land isn't the best of environnnents for ganners to 
thrive in, be it casual or hardcore. We looked to our 
team - and also our connnnunity - for inputs and the 
result is this list of 10 reasons why being a ganner 
sucks in India. 



dependent on your warranty because 
there aren't any official service centres 
that repair consoles here. If some- 
thing goes wrong with your unit - and 
if you're lucky it will be within the 
warranty period - you get a replace- 
ment free of cost, but what happens 
after your warranty period expires? 
Xbox 360 owners have to go out and 
buy another console, and Sony offers 
a pretty hefty discount for those who 
trade in their dead, out of warranty con- 
soles for a new one. That's all well and 
good, but it's still yet another expendi- 
ture on top of the initial investment. 

How much??? 

Once you've got your hardware in 
place, there comes the recurring 
expense known as game purchases. For 



most people ?2,500 for a game is way 
over what they're willing to pay and for 
some even the ?999 for PC games is too 
much. The reason being game prices 
are directly translated without taking 
purchasing power parity into account. 
The value of the $60 dollars an 
American spends on buying a copy of 
his favourite game might not be as high 
for him as it is for an Indian who pays 
?2,499 for his. This pricing strategy, 
unfortunately pushes many people 
onto the path of piracy, though we don't 
condone pirates' actions in the least. 

A way to combat this might be to get 
games packaged in India, which will 
lower the customs duty laid on the cur- 
rently packaged software, like it has for 
PC and PS2 games, something we'll get 
to later. 



Overpriced oldies 

An extension of the previous reason, prices 
for old games don't fall frequently enough 
here. If you were living in a first-world 
country and weren't interested in paying 
full-price for a game, you could wait for 
a while and the prices would start drop- 
ping, at which point you could pick it up. 



48 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



Cover story 



That doesn't happen here unfortunately, 
for example, Bayonetta, which released 
in January 2010, is still selling here at full 
release price. In comparison, shopto.co.uk 
has a 70% discount on the same game. 

This is just one of many old games that 
keep rotting in shelves because prices 
don't go down for them unless they're 
inducted into some kind of Classics or 
Platinum catalogue. 

What's that? 

Even when prices do go down for games, 
the staff at retail stores that sell those 
games don't bother keeping up to date 
with the prices and thus try to sell them 
off at the original prices. 

Things would go a long way if the per- 
sonnel at these places did some research, 
or kept themselves up to track with what 
was going on in the gaming world. 

Sorry, not available 

The perfect counter to the aforemen- 
tioned problem would be specialised 
gaming retail outlets, a la Gamestop. 
There are a few around, like Game4U, 
Games - The Shop and Intencity, but 
they are extremely limited in number. It 
is our belief that people would be a lot 
more receptive to buying games if they 
knew they could go to a place where 
the catalogue and staff would be well 
updated and informed. 

Gotcha... muhahahahaha 

With all these problems plaguing retail, 
most gamers go online looking for a solu- 
tion. There are quite a few web sites that sell 
games and ship them to customers, often 
offering a decent discount too. That has 
changed recently though, because a certain 
game distributor has issued a blanket ban 
on online retailers offering discounts on new 
games in a move that reeks of preferential 
treatment to its own retail arm. 



WHY BEING AN INDIAN GAMER ROCKS 



Most aspects of being an Indian ganner 
do sucl<, but it's not aLL doonn and gLoonn. 
We inave access to nnost consoles and PC 
connponents, and nnost gannes release 
liere on tinne, sonnetliing untliinl<abLe a 
few years ago. It migiit not be as good as 
it is in the US or UK, but we're pretty weLL 
off when connpared to nnost of the world. 

While this nnay sound contradictory to some- 
thing we said earlier, the fact that most games 
have subsidised prices for India can't be a 
bad thing. Sure, there are a few rotten apple 



publishers who don't subsidise, the subsi- 
dies on the whole aren't quite enough and 
games are still expensive, but we'd rather 
have the subsidies than not. Don't you agree? 

PC games though, are a completely different 
matter altogether. Indian prices for PC games 
are ridiculously low when compared to most 
other places, especially the US and UK. Look 
at the difference between a game's price on 
Steam, for example, and how much it costs 
to buy a retail disc here - it will make for one 
gamer who's happy to be Indian. 



Spoilt brats U 

All of the above problems ^' 
might seem a bit first-world 
to our brethren residing in 
non-metro locations, because [^V 
gaming penetration, be it hard- 
ware or software, is pretty 
awful in that regard. There are 
hardly any places that stock 
legit games, and even if they 
do, the catalogue is not usually 
up-to-date. 

So sloooooooow 

Let's face it, broadband in India sucks. The 
speeds are terrible, the plans are terrible 
and worst of all for gamers, the pings are 
terrible. If someone wants to go online for 
some multiplayer action, they're hit with 
copious amounts of lag. Dedicated servers 
for most games are conspicuous in their 
absence, which means we're forced to look 
at Singapore or other South-East Asian 
servers, which are not really the best of 
experiences thanks to the awful pings. Like 
one of the TDF members said, it would be 
nice if we could play online without having 
to worry about getting kicked from servers 
due to high pings. 




Tch, tch... 

By far the biggest problem though is the 
social outlook on gaming. In India, gaming 
is still considered a kid's activity, and most 
of us adult gamers are looked at like we're 
some strange extra-terrestrial specimen. 
Spending money on games is ridiculed, 
and our families balk at the amounts we 
spend to buy gaming consoles and the like. 
Some gamers are guilty of this, too. They 
don't look past the Grand Theft Autos (Hot 
Coffee enabled, of course) or the Need for 
Speeds to see the massive library of enter- 
tainment that those games are but a tiny, 
tiny section of. El 




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Digital life 



52 



Online Stores 

An in depth Look at digital game 
download services 



^ 



Jabra sports headphones 

Jabra announced its range brand new, sporty, 
stereo bLuetootii earpinones. 






l| I P * * 

-at* • • 

•lit** 

I* ' p * 



2!**' 

*Mf 

1 * 






^ J 



Jarre 
AeroDream One 



Who says iPod docks need to be compact? WeU, not Jean Michel Jarre, for 
sure. The Jarre AeroDream One may seem like a gimmick, but it will actu- 
ally sell you one if you can afford it. With 10,000 rms power, mostly deliv- 
ered by an 18-inch sub, it's no wonder this thing stands over 11 foot tall! 
Heck, it even comes with its own ladder bolted on. Also, it weighs in at a 
mere 400 kilos, so obviously the family can bond over carrying the iPod 
dock to the upstairs bedroom. Of course, we assume that you live in a man- 
sion with 20-foot ceilings, have a family of at least eight people and have 
an upstairs bedroom, because it costs a little over half a million USD! 



Things that make you go... 

Whaaaat? 







Nik Nowak's 
Panzer Soundtank 

The ultimate in battle gear for roving DJs, Nowak's 
tank can actually be driven, has DJ equipment attached 
and delivers a massive punch with about a 4,000W 
rms output. Now that's an earache and a half! 



50 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



Samsung unveils Galaxy Nexus 

The GaLaxy Nexus comes with Android 4.0 and is supposedly 
patent-Lawsuit proof 



ARM unveils Cortex A7 

Energy efficient by 70%, the A7 wiLL help 
power sub $100 smartphones 



Drool maal 




Lamborghini 
Aventador LP 700-4 

Engineer Robert GuLpen is selling his 
hand-crafted Lamborghini Aventador 
LP 700-4, for a mere $4.7 million. Hang 
on, before you rush off to buy it, it's 
just a 1:8 scale model of the supercar, 
built from solid gold, platinum and 
2,000 precious stones, so you're not 
going to be driving it about anywhere. 
Of course, you could not buy this and 
get 12 real Aventadors instead... 
For those with just under ?24 crore 
to blow, go to www.gueLpen.com 



Hasselblad 
H4D-200MS 



This is a 200MP camera from the famous Hasselblad sta- 
bles. It's sort of like three cameras rolled into one - it can 
capture single shots at a whopping 50mp of still subjects 
and stitch together six shots of very still subjects to give 
you the magical 200MP resolution. Of course, when you pay 
$45,000(^2,263,508) for a camera, you don't need to move 
about, as the camera has piezoelectric motors to move 
the sensor and take the 200MP stitched shots for you... 




TOTO 

Toilet Bike Neo 



No. Contrary to what you may have read about 
this bike already, the Neo does NOT run on human 
waste. It needs gas Like every other vehicle. Of 
course, you could set up a waste disposal system 
at home and produce the gas to run this bike... 
We'd just love to get an opportunity to ride this 
bike in to work, and blame the Editor for being 
so strict about deadlines that we reoiiy have to 
drop everything and rush to work! What next? Sit 
back, relax, and of course, remember to flush. 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



51 



Digital life 



Thanks, but no thanks 

According to a study, 49 per cent of 
gamers won't buy downLoadabLe conte 
http://goo.gL/Ecg9u 



A new beginning 



http://goo.gl/6xQP8 



-m, Onqin, recenl 



Kshitij Sobti 
readerletters@thinkdigit. com 



t just seems siUy, in this day and 
age, for gannes to stiU be sold in 
tiny breakable plastic discs. Let's 
say you're sold on the idea of 
1 digital qannes online. What next? 



We take a look at Steann, Gam- 
ersGate, Good Old Gannes, Innpulse, 
Beanndog and Green Man Gaming, 
helping you get your gaming high onl 



Created by Valve, and used in all Valve 
games since Hoif-Life 2, Steam is pos- 
sibly the most popular, influential and 
well stocked of all digital game distri- 
bution services. Steam is more than 
just that, it's also a DRM platform. 



±ri^ftC 






Steam links your games to your 
account, allowing you to download and 
play them from any computer that has 
Steam installed, as long you log into 
your Steam account. In addition, there 
are community features such as achieve- 
ments, game and game-item trading, 
leaderboards, chatting etc. Steam offers 
games for both Mac OS X and Windows, 
and with SteamPlay, you can purchase 
once and play on both platforms. 

Steam has the widest collection of 
games and routinely has sales that often 
have games at very low prices, at times 
lower than what it would cost to pirate. 



Widest collet 



or both Mac and Windows 



equent sales; daily deals 



• Games can be played directly after down- 
load, no set-up required 

• Also has Free To Play games I 



© m 



mmimmmm 



ONLINE GAME 

DOWNLOAD 

SERVICES & 

STORES 



ncludes one frei 



orced downloader; no direi 



Impulse 



Impulse is an online game and software 
store started by Stardock. It was recently 
purchased by GameStop. 



merely a conversion Trom tneir UbU 
prices. The pricing itself is not sensi- 
tive to the Indian market. It has a 



Steam folder 



decent collection of games, but only 
few are available to Indian customer 



GamersGate 






Starte 


d by Pc 


aradox In 


tera 


ctive, a 


Swedi 


sh gam 


e develop 


)me 


nt company. 


It has 


a huge 


game co 


llec 


tion, rivalled 


only b 


y Stear 


n. 






Ga 


nersGc 


\te provid 


es y 


ou with an 


ndivic 


ual do^ 


A/nloader 


for 


each game 


thatd 


ownloa 


ds and in 


stal 


Ls the game. 


It enf 


Drees n 


DRM on 


its 


own. how- 




ever, you need to log into the down- 
loader before you can use it. 

GamersGate has an interesting system 
called "Blue Coins" which rewards people 
for participating in the community (posting 
reviews, walkthroughs, guides etc.) and 
for purchasing games. These Blue Coins 
can also be purchased directly or gifted 
and can in turn be used to purchase more 
games. GamersGate allows you to pur- 
chase multiple copies of a game which can 
then be gifted. Like Steam, GamersGate 
includes games for both Windows and Mac 
OS X operating systems. Often purchasing 
a game means you get access to both ver- 
sions, but not necessarily. 



WBmm 



mmmi 



No enforced client 
Frequent sales 
Rewards for purchas 



Impulse doesn't offer as many com- 
munity features as Steam, but then 
again, it isn't as intrusive either. Games 
downloaded from Impulse run without 
Internet. Though, games may include 
their own DRM which could make an 



• Prices in INR 

• Don't need the client running to play 
games 

• Daily deals, and regular sales 
Cons: 

Many games are not available for India 
Need a client to download the qames 



Desura 

^■^^^ura is a game distribution service 

t is quite focused on the com- 
munity aspects of gaming. It's more 
inclusive than Steam in some aspects 
like game development, modding and 
players community. It has a strong 
focus on modding. 

The Desura client can even manage 
games that you download and install from 
other sources. You can download and 



offers and supports mods for third party 
games such as HoLf-Life. 

It even offers numerous free and 
IS and in general the 



52 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



A full circle 

Microsoft LikeLy to unveiL the ne: 
Xbox, the Xbox 720 at E3 2012 
http://goo.gl/w3iUh 



There and back again 

A game accompanying Peter Jacl<sor 
An Unexpected Journey is expected t 



pLatform is Indie-friendly. It Lets devel- 
opers directly engage with their audience, 
for exannple, the Alphafunding feature 
allows one to purchase games while 




V i^^- 




they're still in developnnent, which will 
allow for some much needed develop- 
ment funds for the creators. 

Desura gives out games for Windows, 
Mac OS X and Linux. A Windows client and 



Beta versior 



5 already 



available, and eventually will expand to 
Mac OS X. You only need to purchase a 
game once to play it on all supported 
platforms. Like Impulse, it lists prices 
converted to INR. 



The Outsiders 



There are a few options we have Left out here, and we should mention why. 

Origin: As EA's official store, it doesn't have games from other publishers, and hence 

was not Listed. Origin does have Indian pricing in its store if you access from India, 

which can make a huge difference. For example, the upcoming Moss Effect 3 is available 

for ?999 instead of the international price of $59 (~?3,000 currently). Some EA games 

may be exclusive to Origin soon. Origin also only guarantees that games you buy will be 

available to download up to a year from purchase. 

Amazon: Amazon offers digital game downloads, but not for India. Case closed. 

Direct2Drive: A glaring omission you might feel, but the fact is that this game store 

has severely restricted the number of games available in India. Only 10 per cent of its 

games are available in India. 

OnLive: OnLive is a cloud-gaming pLatform. You don't download games, you essentially 

stream them off the net. You're simply watching a video of the game playing on a server 

and your inputs are going to its server to control the game. We haven't included it since 

the 4-16 mbps it needs is still rare in India, and it isn't a traditional store. 



installed from Desura store 

• Many games and mods available for 
free, which is great 

• Early access to games in developmer 
via Alphafunding 

Cons: 

Game client required 



• Storefor Windows and Linux games 
rolled into one 

• Mac OS X support incoming 

• Very good mod support 
"PI Good community features 

Support for modding games not 



RAC»tf 



^Si 


i 

1^ 


m- 






t i 



ZOTAC 



EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING. 
SACRIFICE NOTHING. 



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]£OTAC 



EOT. 

SKU:SKU:ZT-50309-10M 



^v- 



NVIDIA* GeForce® GTX 560 Ti GPU 



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ZOTAC Graphics Cards ;r^ ,_,.^ ,,, ,,,_, 

Distributed by V J Aditya Infotech Ltd. 

Dy. ^^ ^^^^^ 20-4555666 

ambUB sales@adityagroup.com 



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Glow in the Dark PS3 



Digital life 



in talks with Ubiso 



Good Old Games 

Good Old Games (GOG) is not only a 
digital game store, but also a stand 
against DRM. The company behind 
GOG is none other than CD Projekt, 
the creators of the popular The 
Witcher game series. 

All games in its store are offered 
without any DRM, and don't need any 
client to run. The games are simple set-up 
files that can be installed on any Windows 
computer. A downloader for games is 
available, but optional. 

GOG offers hundreds of mostly old 
games, some as old as 1986 [King's 
Quest) while others as recent as this 
year, 2011 (The Witcher II: The Assas- 
sins of Kings). If you're looking for 
classic PC games, then in many cases 
this is the only source. 

It does more than offer the games 
though. Firstly GOG goes out of its way to 
ensure that games work on latest versions 
of Windows - in the case of some very old 
games, this means using emulators such 
as DOSBox or ScummVM. 

Secondly, it usually bundles extra 
content with each game, such as addi- 
tional maps, manuals, soundtracks, ava- 
tars, artwork, guides, etc. This content is 
unique to GOG. 

Games are offered at only two 
prices, ?299 and ^499. In some case 
entire game collections are available at 
these price points. 
Pros: 

• All games are DRM free 

• No client to download/play games 

• Most qames have bundled freebies 



.• Some qames are qame collections 



lames: some Tree qame! 



Green Man Gaming 

This service is unique in that it tries to 
bring one of the most lucrative aspects of 
boxed game copies, trading copies, to the 
digital world. Games you purchase on the 
service can be played as normal, and then 
traded back in exchange for credit to buy 
another game. 

Because of this. Green Man Gaming 
often has the lowest rates of any game 
distribution web site even for com- 









^mg 


QsQJ^9 


Online Stores 


Offline Stores 




(3 You can buy games in a few clicks, and 


3 Offline sales are Less common, and usu- 


start downloading instantly 


ally very Limited in discount 


3 Games are HUGE, downloading that 


3 No download required 




much will take Loads of time and need 


3 You can need to go to a 


store to get 


good bandwidth 


the game (there are on 


Line stores that 


3 Online games tend to be at interna- 


sell boxed games as well) 


tional prices 


3 Game boxes are a 




3 No storage required for a game box, 


nice souvenir (I stay 


^^^ 


better on the environment (no plastic 


mostly at home, j 


^ 


disc, no cardboard box) 
3 Games in stores are often much cheaper 


what's this environ- ( 
ment thing?) 


3 Most stores will Let you re-download 


3 Unless the game's , 


[^ llT^ 


your game as many times as you 


tied with an online 


s3?"v7 


want indefinitely 


store, if you break 


r v 


3 Online stores often have sales that are 


the disc, your game 


//"nJ 


known to go even in the "90% off" area 


is Lost 





pletely new or even unreleased games. 
The trade-in prices can fluctuate based 
on demand and supply, so you can even 
make money by buying, playing and 
then selling a game. 

Due to the unique nature of this 
game store, it needs you to install a 
client to download and play games. 
Its DRM ensures that you can play a 
game when you buy it, but not once 
you've traded it back. Not all games 
are tradable though, be careful 
before you buy! 

Considering the already cheap game 
prices, and the fact that games once 
played can be returned, this is often 
the cheapest route to playing a game. 
Pros: 



. Games can be traded back, thus saving 

reat deals of money 
. Game prices are usually lower than 
those of competing stores 
' Constant sales and promotions 



To this end, BeamDog, like Steam, 
downloads your game in a ready-to- 



Torm, so vou c; 



the game client to download and 
launch the games, however DRM is 
not enforced. In fact BeamDog offers 
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and playing. The BeamDog web site 
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but its catalogue is quite small. Con- 
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* Purchase and 


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Look! A planet 



Mithun Mohandas 



Little do we know about the vast expanse 
above us. Each time we look above, it's an 
entirely new scenario. Some elements, 



same, however light of heavenly bodies I 
from parsecs away continue to reach I 
us as we go about our lives. It brings " 
with it the history of the planet. How it I 
formed and what changes have taken 
place on its surface are all contained in 
this cosmic beam of light. Here's how we 
go about interpreting this data to detect 
new planets in the universe. 

Methods to find new planets 

Till the late 90's, astronomers weren't 
confident about the existence of extra- 
solar planets, i.e. planets outside our solai 
system. Multiple theories existed but no 
distinct method was devised to find them. 



w, we re coming across new p 
laily basis using the following 



Goldilocks zone 

Our planet is the only one in the 
solar system to support life. 
Though there are multiple parar 
eters which need to be fulfilled 
in order for this to happen, one 
particular parameter is the dis- 
tance of the planet from the sur 



sun like Mercury or Venus is too 
hot to sustain life whereas planets 



Wobbling stars 

When a planet orbits a star, there's mutua 
gravitational attraction. This gravity tugs 
the star in the plane of the planet's orbit. 
This attributes to a slight wobble for 
the star. With each subsequent planet 



far from the star like Saturn and 

Neptune are too cold to sustain life. According to the size of the star, this narrow 
band called the Goldilocks zone has been proven favourable enough to sustain life. 
Earlier, even Earth wasn't in the Goldilocks zone but after finding life in the most 
unfavourable places on the surface, astronomers have widened this band. In our 
solar system. Earth and Mars are the only two planets that are can of sustaining life. 
So when we detect a new planet, one of the first things we do is check whether the 
new planet falls within the Goldilocks zone for that particular star. 



mucn more complex, cy siuaying inis 
wobbling of a star, astronomers figure out 
the number of planets orbiting the star. 



\ How we figure out whether a star is wob- 
\ bling or not is by observing the planet's 
\ red/blue shifting. 

Eclipses 

An eclipse as we all know happens 
, when three or more planets line up 
and light from one body is blocked 
/ by another. We have solar and lunar 
/ eclipses happening every year. In 2011, 
we have four partial solar and two total 
lunar eclipses happening. Watch out for 
the solar eclipse on the 25^^ of this month 
and a lunar eclipse on 10^^ of December. 
Similarly, extrasolar planets also eclipse 
their stars. When we observe these distant 
stars, there's a slight reduction of the 
star's brightness when its planet passes 
between the star and earth. This tells us 
that a planet is indeed orbiting the star 
and the time period between subsequent 

circle its star, which gives us an idea aL^^. 
the planet's proximity with the star. 

Looliing straight at it 

One of the simple sounding but much 
difficult methods is to peek straight at the 
region where a planet is suspected to be. 
Light comes in a very wide spectrum and 
when observed in the visible range, the 
star's brightness will be much more than 
the planet's. This will practically blind the 
telescope and the planet won't be seen. 
However, when the infrared region of the 
light spectrum is observed, the relative 
brightness of the planet increases as it 
emits its own infrared light as well. Thus, 
letting us know of its presence. 

Polarimeters 

Prior to being reflected off an object, light 
is non-polarised and when it bounces off a 
planet it becomes polarised. We have pola- 



JWST launch in 2012 



ISRO needs more launch sites 



aunch in 2018, seven years behi 



A star pirouetting about the green circle 
due to a planet being present in orbit 

rinneters which are capable of differenti- 
atinq polarised beanns of liqht. However, 



such instruments require as uttle visual 
aberration as possible and are used on 
space telescopes, not terrestrial ones. 

Interferometers 

Interferometry is the process of conn- 
bining the light fronn two telescopes to get 
a nnuch better picture. So nnultiple small 
telescopes can be used to collect data 
which can be merged to produce data that 
would otherwise require a really huge tel- 
escope. A trick that astronomers use with 



etry". Light travels in waves and when two 
waves are brought together by aligning the 
"troughs" together, the signal is boosted 
to give a much better picture. Aligning 
the trough of the wave to the peak of the 
waves will cancel that particular source 
of light. Thus, the star's light is nullified to 
view the planets better. 



Colour of a planet 

A more recent technique 

discovered by astrono- ^- , 

mers has helped figure 

outthecolour of light ^ 

reflected off from a 

planet's surface. When 

a planet orbits a star, it 

moves away from us for 

one-half of its revolu- Satellites GRAI 

tion and moves closer gravitational fie 

to us during the other. 

The light observed from the planet is 

either red/blue shifted according to the 

movement of the planet. By continuing 

this shifting, astronomers were able to 

determine the light spectrum reflected by 



confirmed the existence of the planet but 
also gave them information about it. 

Conclusion 

In a young galaxy as ours there's much 
to be discovered and studied, after all 
resources are limited and the only way to 
sustain our growth would be to venture 
into the cosmos, expanding our horizons. 
Learning more about the cosmos is our 
first step in this direction. 




Satellites GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B studying the Moon's 
gravitational field 



GRAIL 

Gravity Recovery And Interior Labora- 
tory is part of NASA's Discovery Space 
program which launched two probes 



program wnicn 
recently (these 
study its gravitc 
planet cools do 



le moon and 



snse mate- 



rials move towards the centre of the 
planet. There's a constant change in 
the gravitational field when this hap- 
pens. Studying this will help expand 
our understanding of the evolution of 
the moon and the knowledge gained 
will be applied to further our under- 



standing of planet formation as well 



Red shift 

edshift is a phenomenon in which light from a body is increased in wavelength. This 
happens when an object from which the light is being emitted is in motion. It's like 
the doppler effect which can be experienced when a sound emitting object goes past 
you. The sound you hear prior to the object passing you is of a higher frequency than 
the sound you hear once the object goes past you. This is because there's compres- 
sion of the sound waves in the direction towards which the object is moving while 
expansion occurs right behind it. The same is applicable to light which also travels 
as waves. The compression results in the light entering the blue spectrum, this is 
termed as "blueshift", whereas expansion results in "redshifting". So by measuring 
the redshift of an object we can learn much about the planet's motion. 




Normal, near-infrared and mid-infrared 
images of a Nebula viewed from the Hubble 
Space Telescope. Observe as certain 
elements are only visible when viewed 
from a particular infrared range. 




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BuUdozen 

Understanding AMD's latest processor architecture 



Mithun Mohandas 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 



U of AMD's processor archi- 
' tectures since AMD K7 have 

been pretty nnuch the sanne. 

They were mostly revisions on 
the K7 architecture with nninor nnodifi- 
cations with each successive iteration. 
With Bulldozer, AMD designed a new 
architecture fronn scratch to incorporate 



a nnuLtituae or cnanges wnicn it Del 
will help AMD regain sonne of the n 
share which it lost ever since Intel 



launched the Core 2 architecture in 2006. 




Understanding the new 

Architecture 

On the outside 

The Bulldozer processor looks pretty 
much like the Phenom/Deneb process 



which used the AM3 941-pin socket. How- 
ever, Bulldozer processors use 942 pins. 
This puts to rest rumours that AM3+ CPUs 
could be used with AM3 motherboards 
after getting a BIOS update. Unless you 
destroy one of the pins on your newly 
purchased processor, this is impossible. 
Motherboard manufacturers, however, 
have released new motherboards using 
older generation chipsets with the AM3+ 
socket. You can use Bulldozer CPUs on 
these motherboards after a BIOS update. 
A word of caution, AMD does not 



support using Bulldozer processors 
on older chipsets. 



with less number of cores. So, a 4 core/2 
module, a 6 core/3 module and the flag- 
ship 8 core/4 module Bulldozer are all the 
same die with certain cores being locked. 
Don't get your hopes up about getting a 
motherboard that can 'unlock' cores for 
your Bulldozer, AMD has ensured that 
none of the disabled cores will be usable. 

The flagship processor, FX-8150 will 
come with liquid cooling from Asetek 
Solutions, it is also the OEM for Anter — ' 



Corsair's I 



lid coolers. 





^^^m 1 




1 








Dn the Inside 





! bulldozer c 



sniTted Trom tne multi-core approacn to tne 
module approach. The difference being that 
a module is AMD's answer to Intel's Hyper- 
Threading. After a lot of R&D, AMD came to 
the conclusion that desktop processors have 
to perform (FP) floating point calculations 
more as compared to integer calculations. 
So, instead of having two FP pipelines and 
2 integer pipelines which would indicate 
two cores completely, bulldozer shares the 
Integer pipeline between two cores. Hence, 
each module contains 2 FP pipelines and 1 
Integer pipeline, simulating two cores. 



Bulldozer adds support for 3 new instruc- 
tion sets; FMA4, CVT16 and XOP, all of which 
are useful for arithmetic calculations. It also 
supports Intel's AVX instruction set. 

Finally, one can have 32 GB of RAM on 
their system, though there are very few who 
would need that kind of memory. Not to 
mention native support for 1866 MHz FSB. 
Though we are not sure, why AMD didn't opt 
for four channels of memory in the desktop 



interlagos processors wnicn are tor servers. 

The 990 FX Chipset 

'"' FX models require the new kV^ ' 

ket motherboards which com 
the new 900-series chipsets. 

The 900-series chipsets are also 
backwards compatible, so one can use 
the new AM3+ motherboards with older 
AM3 processors, if required. The only 
difference between, the chipsets is the 
number of PCIE 2.0 lanes each sup- 
ports. Moreover, SLI support is back 
with this chipset series which was 
absent since nForce 980a. RAID sup- 
port remains the same with all chipsets 
supporting RAID 1, 0, 10. RAID 5 is 
supported on the 990FX chipset. There 
is support for native SATA 6 on these 
chipsets as well. The increased PCIE 
2.0 bandwidth is something that AMD 
boards enjoy whereas Intel boards 
require the NF200 cJii,g__to_m^tnh un in 
terms of bandwidth"**" — 

Courting controversies 

Quite often new launches are mired in 
some controversy or the other and AMD 
was no stranger to this trend. First in 
line would be the launch dates. AMD 



never announced the dates 


but industry 


sources' first pegged the la 


unch date to 


be June 2011. As June app 


reached, the 


motherboard manufacturer 


s released 


the respective 900-series n 


lotherboards 






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Doned till Late August-early Sep- 
ler. When the Launch date neared 
_.^ain AMD announced another delay 
citing issues with the frequency not 
matching up to earlier projections. This 
time a new processor revision, B2 was to 
be launched. At the time of writing, AMD 
has already started working on revision 
B3. All companies do the same and AMD 
is no different, the announcemr-^-" -^^ '■'^'- 
new revision so close to th 
created a lot of flutter on th 
Finally, AMD launched the processors on 
October 12 though they are yet to launch 
the processor in India. 

Then there was the news of AMD 
quitting BAPCo, a consortium that 
develops SYSMark. People were quick 
to claim a defect in AMD's product line. 
However, few noticed that along with 
|AMD, NVIDIA and VIA also quit BAPCo 
■over SYSMark 2012. With an NDA (Non 
Disclosure Agreement) in place, we'll 
never know the actual reason for the 
move but to claim a defect in 
AMD/NVIDIA/VIA's product range 
because of this development is baseless. 
AMD did recently cancel it's Komodo 
processor which was lined up for a 2012 
release, it'll now be replaced by the 
Vishera platform which will incorporate 
a modified Piledriver (Bulldozer's 
successor) core. 



Jlnchmarks, benchmarks 
everywhere... 

Ever since an engineering sample of 
Bulldozer slipped onto eBay.com earlier 
this year we've been seeing quite a lot 
of benchmarks on the Internet. Most of 
those have been refuted as fake bench- 
marks. AMD mentioned that the Window 
7 scheduler doesn't distribute the jobs 
properly. For lightly threaded applica- 
tions, this is pain as jobs are assigned 
to modules which can otherwise be 



to modules which can otherwise be 
parked(powered down). Therefore, if a 
job only requires a few threads, a better 
Operating System Scheduler will assign 
the job to less number of cores, thereby 
allowing the other cores to power down. 
Core parking was introduced in Phenom 
II and wasn't much of a success. A U 
benchmarks on Windows 8 developew 
preview have shown promise, an improve- 
ment of 10% was noted in Left 4 Desi~ 
2, whereas the other applications te^ed 
only showed 2-4% improvement. Since 
the benchmarks were carried out on the 
developer preview, they are not indicative 
of the final product. So whether perform- 
ance will increase by quite a bit or will it 
down the drain, only time will tell. 

Another key thing to note is that Intel 
settled with FTC last year over an Anti- 
Trust lawsuit in which one of the com- 
plaints was that certain compilers would 
check the CPUID of the processor prior 
to executing the code. This allowed for 
the most optimum code to be executed 



on Intel processors, but if the processor 
was anything other than an Intel, then 
the sub-optimal code would be executed. 
This has been widely reported and denied 
by Intel as well, yet it's not considered 
while benchmarking AMD products. 
Of all benchmarks we have seen. 
Bulldozer seems to fit in snugly between 
Phenom II and Intel's Core i5 2500K. 



HiasliBMiMSWBSWMIMsfcHmJP 



always does but there isn't any significant 
improvement. Also, power consumption 
has increased dramatically which is to be 
ex ■ ' 

refinements will reduce power consur 
tion and produce much efficient process 
sors. 4 processors have been launched ^ 
this year, and 5 more will be launched 
next year, amongst them is the FX-8170 
whose base frequency is 3.9GHz and 
scales upto 4.5GHz on turbo. 

Final word 

There has been a remarkable change in 



the architecture 



he processor. AMD 



has been known to come up with innova- 
tions even though Intel's R&D budget 
exceeds AMD's entire revenue. The 
numerous changes in architecture will 
slowly be adapted into various compilers 
to make full use of it's unique design and 
we will probably see a huge improvement 
from Piledriver on Windows 8. We will be 
testing the processor and you can read 
about our take on its performance and the 
benchmarks in the next issue, d 





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Buying Game Cdnsdle! 



Agent 001 
agent001@thinkdigit. com 

It's been a while since I've been pon- 
dering whether to get a console. 
With all three prominent game con- 
soles available in the country, how 
do you decide which one to buy? 
I'm not a dogged PC gamer, willing to 
invest tens of thousands of rupees every 
other year to keep my rig relevant with 
upcoming games. So opting for a game 
console will probably simplify many 
things and negate the need for timely 
upgrade cycles. After a browsing session 
on the Internet, this is what I gathered. 

Nintendo Wii 

Casual gamers who aren't head over heels 
into serious gaming should consider 
Nintendo Wii. Before Microsoft's Xbox 
360 Kinect, it was Nintendo Wii which 
brought controller-free motion-sensing 
games to the market. 

It may not have the best game libraries 
to tout, nor the 
best graphics 
among all 
consoles avail- 
able today, nor 
a mention- 
worthy online 
gameplay 
experience but 
nothing beats 
the Nintendo 
Wii and its 
collection of 
party and arcade titles. The Wii remote 
was revolutionary when launched and can 
still handle a lot. This platform has also 
successfully tapped into the fitness games 
genre. Overall, the Wii recaptures a lost 
era of gaming when games were simple 
and fun to play and with the additional 
motion-sensing element it enlarges the 
canvas for a small group of casual gamers. 

The Nintendo Wii remains the most 
inexpensive of the three game consoles 
sold in India. So if you need a family 
entertainment device for casual gaming. 




the Nintendo Wii is a good fit for just 
over ?12k (may be even cheaper). 

Sony PlayStation 3 

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is now five years 
old but still remains relevant. Unlike the 
Nintendo Wii, it's more than just a game 
console — it's an HD media player. It has 
a Blu-ray drive and supports stereoscopic 
3D gaming. Compared to the Wii and Xbox 
360, it boasts of superior internal hard- 
ware - the consoles were used to build 
supercomputers a couple of years ago. 




With so much firepower in its belly, 
the PS3 is undoubtedly one for enthu- 
siast gamers who want to play the latest 
games, engage in online multiplayer 
sessions, and have access to movies, 
rent TV shows and download game 
add-ons. The PS3 also has a host of 
exclusive game series restricted to 
its platform, popular among which 
are Resistance, God of War, Killzone, 
Uncharted, inFamous and Gran Tur- 
ismo. These are not only some of the 
most popular games on the PS3 but 
in the gaming fraternity as a whole. 



In answer to the Nintendo Wii, PS3 
released the Move, its very own motion 
controller back in September 2010. 
Playing with the Wii remote and Move 
is nearly the same, with PS3's superior 
graphics and precision game control 
offering slightly better overall user experi- 
ence for motion-controlled games. Also, 
the number of gaming titles requiring 
the Move bundle to tailor a unique 
gaming experience continue to grow. 

The PS3 Slim 160GB recently 
slashed its prices down to ?16,990. 

Microsoft Xbox 360 

If you were to ask me that one over- 
whelming reason why one should buy an 
Xbox 360 over the Sony PS3 or Nintendo 
Wii, it would have to be this - Xbox Live. 
Microsoft's unbeatable online gaming 
experience paired with a whole host of 
entertainment content makes Xbox Live 
a comprehensive online entertainment 
destination. It does demand a yearly 
premium of $50 (about ?2,400) but its 
20 million plus annual subscribers 
don't seem to mind the service they 
get - games, betas, movies, TV shows 
and more. And Xbox Live has a 
thriving community of online gamers. 
In terms of user interface, the 
Xbox 360 is in between the Nintendo 
Wii (simplest) and Sony PS3 (exten- 
sive). It probably enjoys the most 
extensive game library among all 
three consoles, and like the PS3 gives 
a steady number of game "exclusives" 
like Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Fable. 
In terms of motion controllers, the 
Xbox 360 has done one better than Wii 
and PS3. With Kinect - Xbox 360's exclu- 
sive motion controller - you don't need to 
hold a wand to control a game, the con- 
troller scans your body movement to inter- 
pret it as actions. It adds a host of casual, 
fitness games to the Xbox 360's library. 
All things considered, I still wonder 
which one to buy for myself. I could go 
with any of the above mentioned consoles. 
Write in to give me your views on which 
console you'd go for and the reason why. H 



64 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 



72 



Consumer Protection 

What do you do when your product 
runs out of warranty? 



Tango now for PC 

Tango the popular video-caLLing application 
for Android phones is now available for PCs 



Agent 001 



E Digital camera for ?9,000 

I want to buy a digicam with a budget of ?9k. 
I have four cameras in nnind: Nikon CooLpix 
S6200, S6150 and Canon IXUS 220 HS and 
115 HS. 

1. What should I compromise on? Better 

sensitivity of IXUS series or better zoom 
of Nikon? 

2. Which of them has CMOS sensor? 

3. Which of them have larger sensors and 

better modes to play with? 

Also, is the Powershot A3300 IS better 
than any of them? 

I've been a Digit reader since one- 
and-half year but still don't know much 
about cameras. 

Abhinoy Singh 

© First, identify what you're going to 
shoot more often and based on that opt 
for a camera. If you're the kind who likes 
low-light photography or a lot of indoor 
photography then you need a camera with a 
great ISO range rather than one with zoom. 
On the other hand, if you're going to do 
landscape or wildlife photography, then you 
can go for a higher zoom. 

As far as features are concerned, all the 
cameras you've mentioned have lots of them 
to play around with. However, the Canon 
cameras have a slight edge due to higher 
sensitivity. Both the Canon cameras have a 
CMOS sensor. The A3300 IS is not as good 
as the Canon IXUS 220HS. 

If you're not 
looking for zoom 
then the Canon 
IXUS220HS 
camera makes for 
a good choice for 
your intended usage. But if you want zoom 
then you should go for the Nikon S6200. Do 
tell us how it goes. 



E Laptop for work 




I want to buy a laptop with a good screen 
resolution and the best processor avail- 
able. My budget is ?40k. My father wants it 
mainly for business. I've chosen HP Pavilion 
dv6. Is there a better laptop out there for 
my specific need? 

I'd be glad if you could advise me a laptop 
tested by your test center. Thanks! 

Proteek Sochdevo 
1/ Your best bet would be the Acer Aspire 
5830TG as it has a better processor and 
better graphics than the HP Pavilion dv6, 
and yes we've already tested it few months 
ago — read the full review 
here: http://bitly/o5QEyF. 
Plus it's under ?40,000. If 
you still want to consider 
HP then the HP Pavilion 
g6 makes for a 
better option 
overall. 

E Need urgent 

help with my PC configuration 

I am looking to build a powerful PC with the 
following configuration. Could you please: 
a.) Suggest if there is anything missing 

in it or any better options available at 

cheaper price with no negotiation on 

performance, 
b.) How will the performance be like? 
c.) Please let me know the missing rates? 
d.) What cabinet would you suggest? 
e.) I am looking for a Light scribe writer (Blue 

Ray), which is best available? 
f.) Where in Delhi can I get these and at the 

best rates? 
g.) Also what will be the total power load 

required (is a 800 VA UPS sufficient)? 
h.) Is the processor good enough for my 

usage or do I need to consider AMD for 

better results? 




i.) Please suggest some alternate speakers 
worth checking out and a good webcam. 

• Intel Core \7 2600K & ASUS P8P67 
Deluxe 

• 16GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz 

• ZOTAC GeForce GTX580 

• 1 X OCZ 2.5 SSD VTX3-25SAT3-240G 

• 2 X Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB (Primary 
Slave, Secondary master) & 1 x Seagate 
Barracuda LP 2TB (Secondary Slave) 

• ASUS BD-RW Drive 

• 7 X Silverstone White LED Fans 120MM 

• Corsair H70 CPU Cooler & Corsair 
AX1200 

• Benq XL2410T LED & 800VA UPS 

Vikos Goei 

U Intel Core i7-2600K is the best 
processor - performance wise at that 
price right now, but i would suggest 
you go for a Z68 chipset based 
motherboard, as you can use the 
integrated graphics on your 2600K for 
transcoding purposes. Check out our 
comparison test and take your pick. 

16GB of RAM is overkill. You can get 
GSkill 8GB RAM (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 
RAM) for around ?3,400. The Cooler Master 
HAF 922 is a good cabinet for around ?7,300. 
You can cut down on your fans for the 
cabinet as the HAF 922 has two 200mm fans 
(front and top) and one 120mm fan (rear)— 
fans inside the cabinet. 

You dont need to spend so much on 
speakers, unless you are specifically looking 
for a 5.1 option. You can check out Logitech 
Z506 for ?5,000 (5.1 channel sound) or Altec 
Lansing VS4641 for ^3,000 (2.1 channel sur- 
round sound). 

As for UPS, you can consider the 1.1 kVA 
APC UPS for ?4,500 or a lower end 1 kVA 
Intex UPS for about ?2,000. 
The rest seem fine. Q 



HD Entertainment in your Heme 

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ASUS - No.l in Quality and ^Eirviccs 




Unix Timeline 

An iLLustrated brief timeLine of the 
growth of Unix http://bit.ly/reHMDx 



The tech behind Occupy WallStreet 

Take a photo tour of the tech behind the Occupy 
WaLLStreet cannpaign http://bit.ly/rqqSyL 



iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 
1 



SPEND SMART 




Smartphone 

Micromaxy 
Xperia Mini 
BlackBerry Curve 9360 



Price (?) 

13,380 
19,990 



Operating System 



Android 2.3 
BlackBerry OS 



BLackBerry Bold 9900 
LG Optimus 3D 
Samsung Wave II 
J Samsung Galaxy S II 
Samsung Galaxy Ace 

r 

* HTC Chachi 



32,490 



14,224 



HTC Sensation 




Processor 



Camera 
(IVIP) 



Screen Size 



Resolution 

320 X 480 
x360 

640x480 
x800 





Speakers 

Logitech Z120 
Altec Lansing MX6021 
Creative Inspire T6200 
Altec Lansing V2621 

r 

Audio Engine A2 



Price 

9,000 
4,250 
1,970 
9,500 



DESKTOP SPEAKERS 



Output 

1.2 Watts 
200 Watts 
70 Watts 
28 Watts 
60 Watts 



Frequency 
response 

20 Hz - 20 kHz 

40 Hz - 20 kHz 

II5 Hz ~ 20 kHz 

45 Hz - 20 kHz 
65Hz - 22kHz 



Input 

3.5 

RCA and 3.5 

3.5 

3.5 

RCA and 3.5 



Type 



2.1 



5.1 
2.1 
2 



J 



Aspect Ratio 

16:9 

5:4 

16:10 

16:9 

16:9 



66 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



THE NO.l 
SPORTS 
MAGAZINE 
GOES ONLINE 




Log on and get transported to the 

WUI III Ul vllLI\\/l« We know you can never have enough of cricket. 
So Cricket Today has gone onhne. Simply log on and get live ball-by-ball coverage of all 
international matches, exciting write-ups by some of the best-known cricketers and critics, 
exclusive picture & video gallery. The site also includes in-depth statistics of international and 
first-class cricketers and all the action that happens on the field. 

J 




ndiBi 




0X0 



QUICK SCORG UPDATES DGSKTOP SCORGCARD GXCITING ONLING GAMGS BL0G5 & INTGRVI 
LATEST NGW5 & COVGRAGG COMPLGTG 5GRIG5 5CHGDULG PICTURG & VIDGO GALLGRY DOWNLOAD ZO 




street smart 



Mobile phones and cancer 

New research indicates no Link between nnobiLe 
phones and cancer http://bbc.in/nWvGnH 



A case for piracy 

l^icrosoft Reinvents connpiLers 

with RosLyn Technology http://bit.ly/reHMDx 



PIVIP 

Creative Zen X-Fi Style 

ZebMate Cinema 3.0+ 

Creative ZEN Style 300 

iPod Touch 

Zebronics Zebmate Cinema 4.3 4,200 

Sony Walkman NWZ-S540 

C0W0ND3PLENUE16GB 




Price 


Screen Size 


Resolution 


JVIemory 


Screen Size 


Resolution 


8,999 


2.4-inch 


320 X 240 


16 GB 


3.2 inches 


320 X 480 


2,900 


3-inch 


400 X 240 


4 GB 


3 inches 


320 X 480 


4,350 


1.8-inch 


128x160 


8 GB 


2.44 inches 


480x360 


25,900 


3.5-inch 


960x640 


64 GB 


2.8 inches 


640x480 


4,200 


4.3-inch 


NA 


8 GB 


4.3 inches 


480x800 


6,990 


2.4-inch 


240 X 320 


4 GB 


3.7 inches 


480x800 


18,000 


4-inch 


480x800 


16 GB 


4.3 inches 


480x800 




Alienware M14x 

LenovoThinkpad 
Edge E420 

Apple Macbook Pro 
Dell Inspiron 15R 

Lenovo Ideapad Y570 

Acer Aspire 5755G 



52,900 



35,900 



94,500 

45,619 
84,900 
42,100 

42,700 

44,289 



LAPTOPS 



Price(R) Processor 



Intel Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz 



Intel Core i3-380UM 1.3 GHz 



Intel Core i7-2720QM 2.2Ghz 



Intel Core i5-2410M 



Screen Size Installed OS 



13.3-inch 



11.6-inch 



14-inch 



Windows 7 Home 
Premium 

Linux (Windows 7 
optional) 

Windows 7 Home 
Premium 



HDD 



Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3 Ghz 14-inch 

Intel Core i7 2.7GHz ^^^H 15.4-inch 
Intel Core i5-2430M 2.40 GHz 15.6-inch 



Windows 7 Professional 500 GB 



15.6-inch 



Intel Core i5-2410M 2.30-GHz 15.6-inch 



Mac CSX Lion 

Windows 7 Home Pre- 
mium 64bit 

Microsoft Windows 7 
Home Premium 

Windows 7 Home 
Premium 



500 GB 
500 GB 

750 GB 

750 GB 



Native 
Resolution 



320 GB 1366x768 



320 GB 1366x768 



320 GB 1600x900 



1366 X 768 

1920x1200 

1366x768 

1366x768 

1366x768 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 




RPInf 



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digit 



KILLER RIGS 

everything you'LL ever need to build your own PC. whatever your budget 





^^B 


m 


■mf 


Br^F^^y^ 


5 


1 


m 






jk 


MB* 


— ^w^ 




"^^ m 



PRIMARY COMPONENTS 



= MOTHERBOARD 

= ■ ASUS P8H61-M LE - ^3,600 

= ■ MSI-H67 MA-E35 - ^4,700 

= ■ MSI-H67 MA-E35 - ^4,700 

= ■ ASUS P8Z68-V Pro - ^4,248 

^ ■ ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Z - 
= ?26,220 




PROCESSOR 

I Intel Core i3 2100 - ?5,600 

■ Intel Core i5 2400 - ^9,650 

■ Intel Core i3 2100 - ?5,600 

■ Intel Core \7 2600K - ?15,800 
Intel Core \7 2600K - ^5,800 




E RAM 

= ■ Corsair Value Select 2GB DDR3 
= 1333MHz -^860 

= ■ Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 Hz - 
= ?1,750 

= ■ Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 Hz - 
_ = ?1,750 

E E ■ G.Skill Ripjaws (2x4) 8GBXL - 

Eillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll| ?3,400 

E E ■ G.Skill Ripjaws (2x4) 8GBXL - 



IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE 

E GRAPHICS CARD 

E ■ Galaxy GTX560 - ^0,300 

E HXEXHO 6450-^2,650 

— ■ EVGA GTX 560 Ti - 

E ?14,500 

E ■ ASUS ENGTX580 - 

E ?24,700 



^3,400 



lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 





lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll^ 



HARD DRIVE 

r Seagate 500GB 7200.12 - ?2,100 

■ WD Caviar Black -^2,000 

■ Seagate 1TB - ?4,400 

■ Seagate Barracuda 2TB - ?4,700 

2x Seagate Barracuda 2TB - ^8,600 
+ Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD 




MONITOR 

■ BenQG610HDAL- 
?3,900 

■ Samsung P2350 - ^0,800 

■ BenQXL2410T-?24,700 

■ Samsung P2350 - n0,800 

■ BenQ XL2410T - 
^24,700 



70 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



Basic rig = ?20,675 

High-end multimedia = ?50.810 

Ultra high-end PC / Gaming rig = ?1,58,620 



Mid-range gaming rig = ?53,330 
High-end gaming PC = ?87,198 



SECONDARY COMPONENTS 



CABINET 

r Cooler Master ELite 310 
?1,500 

■ CM Elite 430-^2,620 

■ CM Elite 430-^2,620 

■ NZXT 
Guardian 921B 
-?4,000 

■ Cooler Master 
HAF922 - 
?6,700 



lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 

SOUND CARD 

Asus Xonar DX 7.1 - ^4,740 





= MOUSE 

^ Zebronics Judwaa 5 (Bundle) - ?350 

~ ■ Razor Abyssys (Bundle) - ?1,000 _ 

■ Microsoft P58 - ?375 

■ CMStorm Inferno - ?2,800 
CMStorm Inferno - ?2,800 

^lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 



% 





= KEYBOARD 

^ ■ Zebronics Judwaa 5 (Bundle) - ?465 

= ■ Razor Cyclosa (Bundle) - ?2,700 

= ■ Logitech KlOO 

?265 

__ ■ Razor Arctosa 
= ?2,100 

= ■ Razer Black Widow - ?7,300 

BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMIIMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 

= SPEAKER 

= ■ Altec Lansing Classic Audio BXR1221 - = OPTICAL DRIVE 

= ?900 = ■ LG 22x SATA DVD Writer - ?950 

E ■ Altec Lansing V2621 - ^1,960 = ■ LG 22x SATA DVD Writer - ^950 

= ■ Creative Inspire T6200 - ?5,400 = ■ LG 22x SATA DVD Writer - ?950 

= ■ Creative Inspire T6200 - ?5,400 = ■ LG 12x Blu-ray OEM RW - ?6,500 

E m Logitech Z506 - ^6,700 = 

BllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllfTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM 

POWER SUPPLY 

VIP 350 Watts - ?800 

■ Cooler Master GX450 - ?3,500 

■ Cooler Master GX450 - ^3,500 

■ Corsair TX650 - ?5,400 
SeasonicX850-?9,800 



MISCELLANEOUS 





HD MEDIA PLAYERS 

i Asus OlPlay HDP Rl/?5,500 

■ WD Live TV Hub / ?11,990 

■ lonnega ScreenPlay DX 1TB / 
?9,000 = 

llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll = 



= GAMING 

E HEADSETS 

E ■ Platronics Gamecon 
E 367 - ?1,700 

^ ■ Alienware TactX 
E Headset - ?3,500 

= ■ Corsair HSl-^4,999 




CONTROLLERS 

Xbox Controller - ^,300 




=lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll= ■ L°9't^^h Monno ^6,400 





— ■ Saitek Cyborg Evo - ?3,100 

Ellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 



MOUSEPAD ^^^mm^ E GAMING 

I Razor Goliathus-^450 ^^ = CONSOLES 

Cooler Master Storm CS-M - ?850 = ■ Sony PlayStation ^ E POWER PROTECTION 

Razer Goliathus Fragged Control = 3 Slim (320GB) with Move - ?19,990 = „ aPC (BR600CI-IN) - ?2,165 

Edition - ?999 E ■ Xbox 360 (250GB) with Kinect - ?30,061 E ■ Numeric SBIOOO - ^4,700 

E ■ Nintendo 3DS Black - ^7,490 E ■ APC (BR-IOOOIN) - ?5,500 




Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



71 



street smart 



Apple iPad 3 rumours 

Here is our take on what wiLL comprise tlie next 
generation of Apple iPad 
http://bit.ly/q9SQaa 



Amazon, Apple or Barnes & Noble? 

Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 vs Nool< Color: Specs and features 

comparison 

http://bit.ly/of2FPx 



Pain pain, go away 

What do you do when the warranty runs out but 
problenns continue full steann ahead? 



fTi^^v^r^fHQ^ffMf^rt^ay YJq jjgj, help! 

^onsymBrmcite if you Ve facing a problem with 

I^^^^^^^^^j!^ your purchase, write to us at 
^^^^^^^^fcy^ help@consumermate.com 



Kapil Rustagi 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

Karan Luthra, a Delhi-based 
law professional purchased a 
notebook from a well known 
US company. It worked fine 
for the first few months but he soon 
noticed unusual sounds coming from the 
machine, which were duly reported to 
an authorised service centre. The service 
centre changed the required software and 
hardware and claimed to have fixed the 
problem. Thereafter, the product had to be 
given to the service centre time and again. 
The product continued to have recurring 
problems even as the warranty expired 
and that's when a whopping amount was 
quoted for repair - almost equal to the 



price of the product. Luthra sent a legal 
notice to the company, setting out a case 
of inherent manufacturing defect and he 
was given a new product by the company 
despite the warranty period being over. 

Warranty period isn't the dead-end 
of consumer rights. A company cannot 
shirk away from the responsibility of 
servicing a product, especially when it 
is constantly under repair during this 
period. The warranty period entitles a 
consumer to get the product repaired 
free of cost, but it doesn't allow the com- 
pany to produce a defective product. If a 
product suffers from chronic problems, the 
defect is said to be inherent in the product 
right from the manufacturing stage. 

To prove and establish your product 
to be inherently defective, it's important 



to have all the documents and sequence of 
events in place. Note down all the events, 
complaint number and index the entire job 
sheet. Indexing the job sheet means insisting 
the service centre executives to note down 
all the deficiencies in the job sheet clearly. 
Never give or take back any product without 
any written document and in case you're 
not satisfied with a particular diagnosis or 
service, have it mentioned in writing while 
taking it back from the service centre. 

We're not suggesting that you wait to 
redress problems beyond the warranty 
period. In fact the consumer should note 
that towards the end of the warranty 
period even if the product is working fine, 
the service executive must be called for 
overhauling the product. This preventive 
exercise would help foresee deficiencies. EO 



COMPLAINTS RECEIVED. 



Laptops 

LCD screen of Lenovo laptop is 

displaying some vertical lines 

IMy Z470 unit lias a vertical Line on tlie right- 
side portion of the LCD after only three 
days of use. The unit was repaired and after 
13 days the vertical Line has reoccurred. 
ALso, the after-sales service repair took 
more than a month. 
Contacted By: Ace Eric Saicedo 

Answer by Consumermate: 

The delay occurred in repairing the product 
itself amounts to deficiency in services. 
This is nothing but sheer harassment at 
the hands of companies who make big 
claims for their products and have little 
reality when it comes to supporting their 
consumers. This seems to be a case 
of inherent manufacturing defect. It's 
the company's duty to repair it to your 
satisfaction without any charges. Give it 
to the service centre and instruct them 
about your problems. Any such delay or 
dissatisfaction in repairing the product 



would amount to deficiency in services 
which is actionable under the Consumer 
Act prevailing in India. You can write a letter 
to both, the company and the seller and 
call upon them to rectify all the problems 
within a specified time. Please keep a 
record of all the essential documents which 
would be crucial to establishing your case 
in the consumer forum if replacement of 
the product is required. 

Cellphones 

New phone has some serious 
networlc-related issues 

I bought a new Samsung Wave II S8530 
15 days back but on my Vodafone network 
the Internet is not working properly. In 
the same area and on the same network, 
other mobile phones such as Nokia E5 
work well with no network problem. I 
have the bill and want to exchange this 
cell for an Android Samsung cell. The 
current phone doesn't have a YouTube 
downloader and the quality of the YouTube 
videos are not of good enough quality to 
share with friends. Also pictures sent by 



email are of inferior quality and you doubt 
whether this really is a ^14,600 mobile. 
Please respond with the procedure to 
replace or get my money back. 
Contacted By: Hemat Maruti Adavkar 

Answer by Consumermate: 

We understand your pain and 
disappointment. Thanks for sharing your 
inputs and experience about the product 
which would be beneficial to prospective 
consumers. If you want to be refunded, you 
will have to take legal action against the 
company and reseller from whom you've 
purchased the product. Please write to 
them about the loss and ask for damages. 
You must send a legal notice to them 
raising all these contentions. In case they 
don't come up with a solution then you 
may go ahead with your complaint in the 
district forum. Please keep a proper record 
of all the essential documents which would 
be crucial to establishing your case in the 
consumer forum. I hope once you write to 
them, they will come forward to redress 
your grievance as a priority. CI 



72 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



won 




view 



OUR PICK OF THE BEST TECH ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE 



(MUST READS) 

RADAR SEES 
THROUGH WALLS 

The ability to see through walls 
is no longer the stuff of science 
fiction, thanks to a new radar 
technology developed at MIT's 
Lincoln Laboratory. There are 
nunnerous civilian and nnilitary 
purposes for this device. Sounds 
like real life wall hacks are 
finally here. 

http://bit.lv/nvSAzi 

A TRIBUTE TO 
DENNIS RITCHIE 

The nnost innportant guy in 
connputer technology, the brains 
behind UNIX and progrannnning 
languages like C, a connputer 
scientist who nnade a profound 
innpact on alnnost every aspect 
of connputer-related technology 
passed away earlier last nnonth. 
Read how the world rennennbered 
Steve Jobs but alnnost forgot the 
guy whose shoulders he stood on. 

http://bit.lv/mQXiZr 

THE MOST RELAXING 
SONG EVER! 

It's so sleep-inducing that 
nnotorists have been banned fronn 
listening to Weightless, a song 
written by a Manchester band, 
Marconi Union. The band worked 
with sound therapists to get advice 
on how to nnake the nnost effective 
use of harnnonies, rhythnns and 
bass lines. Also check out their list 
of the top 1 relaxing songs. 

http://bit.lv/qNYF9f 

UBUNTU 11.10 ROLLS OUT 

The latest installnnent of Ubuntu 
operating systenn, dubbed 
Oneiric Ocelot, is finally up and 
about. It brings a wide range of 
innprovennents, including sonne 
nnuch-needed enhancennents 
to Ubuntu's Unity shell. Ubuntu 
11.10 uses version 3.0 of the Linux 
kernel and nnany connponents 
from GNOME 3.2. 

http://bit.lv/pa8Mfu 



(Kotaku Corner) 



WHEN STREET FIGHTER MET G.I. JOE, THE WORLD SUFFERED 




a feature on Kotaku that explore 



istory of video games through its charac- 
le on how the idea of creating action figure 
way it was intended. http://bit.ly/pUSAgf 




The beautiful art of Call of Duty: 
Black Ops 

There's more to Call of Duty than 
military mayhem. The environments in 
which the games take place are rarely 
100 per cent authentic, which means 
someone had to dream them up. In this 
case, it's artist Michael Zimmerman. 
http://bit.ly/rqTiLV 



The greatest arcade cabinet that 
never was 

At the turn of the millennium, Namco 
showed off an arcade game that looked 
like it had fallen out of the 22"^ 
century. Housed in a giant cabinet 
called O.R.B.S., it could've been just 
what the dying arcade scene needed. 
http://bit.ly/rahX4u 



Q 

XeOX 360 



What one designer wants for the 
next Xbox 

The next Xbox hasn't been announced. 
There've been hints and rumours, but 
nothing official. Gears of War Cliff 
Bleszinski is no different. Check out 
what he'd like to see in Microsoft's 
next gen console. 
http://bit.ly/pC4Syl 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 73 



(worldview) 




ARM UNVEILS 

C0RTEX-A7 

PROCESSOR 

The chip that will power most 
future smartphones was 
unveiled recently. The 
Cortex-A7 is built using a 
28nnn fabrication process, 
is 1/5^'' the size and nnore 
efficient than the current 
Cortex-A8. 
http://engt.co/qrNzLn 




WHATISOINK? 

ink is a 
nnobile app 
that lets you 
rank things 
in different 
places. So 

instead of ranking a restaurant 

or point of interest, you can 

rank specific things at 

those places. 

http://tcrn.ch/r4cWwG 



THE BEST IMAPPS 

These days snnartphones are 
seldonn used forjust calling 
people as conversations are 
forsaken in this new era of 
apps. Here's a list of the best 
IM apps for iOS and Android, 
both free and paid. This is 
a boon ever since TRAI canne 
out with the 100 
nnessages-a-day rule. 
http://gizmo.do/oUKyGy 



A SEVEN INCH IPAD? 

If you happen to be a fan of 
snnall fornn factor tablets - 
particularly the ones which 
have the nnagical seven-inch 
size screens and you wish 
the iPad was that size - well 
forget it. It's quite possible 
that this will never happen. 
Why you ask? 
Read on to find out: 
http://gizmo.do/ri4CwR 



Android Ice Cream Sandwich demystified 

- By Ray Walters 

We give you the snoop on all the new features in Android 4.0 



nrij PCMAG 
! J ri DluiiHL 



NETWORK 



Copyright © 2011 
Ziff Davis Publishing 
Holdings Inc. 



Like the rest of the Google-savvy 
geeks out there, everyone in the 
ExtremeTech bunker was glued to 
the live YouTube feed announcing 
Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), run- 
ning on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Like most 
product releases, there were features that had 
been heavily leaked and some bells and whis- 
tles that were pleasant surprises. Overall, ICS 
is an improvement to the Android platform 
and it's running on a beautiful device. 

The hardware presentation from Sam- 
sung did not hold any surprises since the 
specs for its newest flagship handset have 
been leaked and reported repeatedly, so 
there is nothing really there to explore. 
However, Android 4.0 itself has some very 
juicy features indeed. 

New lockscreen with "Face Unlock" 
recognition: Since most modern handsets 
have started shipping with a front-facing 
cam as a standard feature, the 
Android team decided it was 
time to throw in some facial 
recognition and allow you 
to unlock your phone with 
your ugly mug. Traditionally, 
Android had a code number or 
a drawing interface to unlock a 
handset upon wake up. Those 
features are still there, but now 




using Face Unlock, a user can simply point 
the device at their face and let the phone 
recognize them from a stored photo. 

While not a terribly fast way to unlock 
your device, it adds a bit of elegance to the 
design. During the announcement, Facelock 
(that's what we're calling it) failed to recognize 
the speaker when he tried to demo it. Hope- 
fully production units will not have that issue. 
Honeycomb makes its way to hand- 
sets: There was a lot of buzz in the Android 
user base about Google's decision to keep the 
source code to Honeycomb in-house. It turns 
out there was a good reason for this, as ICS 
has done the job of bringing the best Honey- 
comb features to the smartphone form factor. 
Check out the list of additions to ICS that 
are from Google's tablet based Honeycomb: 
Re-sizable widgets: you can now decide 
how big or small to make information on 
your home screens. 

Stacks: some apps like YouTube, Market 
and News Republic have a sweet looking 
widget where information is displayed in 
graphical stacks of "sheets". With a finger flick, 
sheets can be moved to the back of the stack in 
a really nice animated way. 

Widget Placement: Android 
4.0 makes it easier to place 
widgets on a desktop with a 
simple long press of the screen. 
From this long press, a menu 
pops up giving you all available 
widgets in a graphical format. 
Soft buttons: Honeycomb - 
based tablets have no physical 




buttons except power- on and the volume 
rocker. Interacting with the OS is all done 
through soft buttons on the screen, which has 
been brought into ICS now as well. Because 
of this, the screen of the Galaxy Nexus is 4.65 
inches big, with very narrow bezel (4mm). It 
is honestly beautiful to look at. 

New additions to the Android 
source tree 

With this being a full version upgrade, there 
were expectations of new functionality in 
Android, and Google did not disappoint. Here 
is a breakdown of the brand new features: 

Roboto: We know you are singing the classic 
Styx song in your heads right now, which is prob- 
ably the point that Google was driving after. 

The Android team had three main goals 
with 4.0: making ICS beautiful, innately smart 
and simple. Roboto falls into the beautiful cate- 
gory. It smooths out the feature text a bit, giving 
it a more elegant feel. It was described as giving 
the OS a magazine-like layout. 

Browser updates: Chrome sync is finally a 
reality for Android users. Now all your book- 
marks will be synced between your devices 
and desktops. A much needed addition to 



74 Digit I Novennber 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



(worldview) 



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be sure. Also added is the "full site" button, 
where a user can switch the site being looked 
at to full desktop mode and back to the mobile 
version. Incognito tabs have been added to 
the browser as well. Last but certainly not 
least, the Android team has implemented a 
swipe-to-dismiss for open tabs functionality. 
With one press of a button, all available tabs 
are listed in a visual scrolling list, allowing 
for a simple finger swipe to close a desired tab. 

Interface improvements in multi- 
tasking and app closure: This is a feature 
that fits both in the Honeycomb ports to ICS 
and in the new additions and it borrows 
heavily in the visual department, but adds 
the swipe-to-dismiss feature. 

Android 4.0 has a multitasking button 
that brings up all your recent apps right 
where you left off, just like with Honeycomb. 
The big difference is that a user can actually 
dismiss and close an app with a finger swipe, 
just like in the browser. 

Productivity app improvements: Gmail 
and Google Calendar were both highlighted 
as having some useful updates. In Gmail, the 
resolution of the screen allows for a two-line 
preview of received emails, making it easier 
to prioritize information. Offline search has 
been added, giving much more power to the 
mobile device to find an older message. Also 
integrated into Gmail is the new "People" app. 

The big improvement to Google Calendar 
is the ability to pinch-to-zoom to expand the 
information displayed on the screen. From a 
month long calendar it is now possible to zoom 
into the info, making it much more useful. 

Contacts and social networking 
improvements: Google has streamlined 
your contacts with 4.0. Now, all informa- 
tion on a contact is drawn from the social 
network connections made with them, as 
well as any custom info that you define. The 
Android team has named this functionality 



"People," which looks very reminiscent 
of Windows Phone 7. Each contact gets a 
visual information card in the system that 
gets live updated when the contact updates 
their Google+, Twitter, or Linkedin profile 
(no mention of Facebook, however). People 
is integrated throughout Android 4.0, with 
"chips" that are mini visual info cards that 
pop up in Gmail and the phone application. 
Built-in data usage management: Ice 
Cream Sandwich finally includes a stock 
app that gives you granular control over 
network activity and the ability to view 
a specific app's data usage. You can even 
set a warning (for when you cross 1GB, 
for example) and a hard cap, to make 
sure you don't pay stupidly excessive 
overage charges. 

The best new features in Ice 
Cream Sandwich 

Hands down the two most 
impressive updates were 
the improvements to the 
Camera app and the use 
of NFC for information 
and app discovery. The 
Camera app added an 
impressive panoramic 
functionality that has pro 
photogs buzzing. ICS (or 
perhaps ICS when used 
with the Galaxy Nexus) has 
zero shutter lag allowing 
you to take images much 
faster. Using this upgrade, 
ICS allows a budding pho- 
tographer to sweep their 
phone in a smooth motion 
at a view they want to cap- 
ture and creates a pano- 
ramic image right inside 
the handset. The app liter- 






San FrJmdUQ, LA 3411^ 



ally does everything for the user, takes 
the necessary images and stitches them 
together into one panoramic image. The 
demo of this was very cool indeed. 

NFC chips are certainly gaining traction 
in usefulness in the mobile marketplace. 
ICS adds some interesting functionality 
using the relatively new tech. By tapping 
two handsets with ICS and NFC installed 
users can trade contact info. Maps directions 
and app recommendations right between 
their two systems. You can be playing a game 
on your ICS handset and if another person 
pushes their handset up against yours, a 
link to the game on Android Market magi- 
cally hops across. The possibilities for NFC 
use in this way are endless: games of tag, 
information that is shared when a person 
checks in some place and other cool ways 
to put NFC to work. 

The source for ICS won't be dropping 
for a few weeks, but 
the Android SDK 
has been updated, so 
you can play around 
the emulator if you 
like. The Android 
Developers site also 
has a complete list 
of Ice Cream Sand- 
wich's key features, 
if you're interested 
— and finally, there's 
an introductory 
video embedded 
below. The Galaxy 
Nexus will drop in 
the States, Europe, 
and Asia sometime 
in November, but 
the pricing and car- 
rier availability is not 
yet known. 




.m 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 75 



(worldview) 



If you're looking for 
quirky and innovative 
industrial designs then 
Core 77 design studio 
might have something 
for you. Check out how 
design ideas can trans- 




form limited space into 
something futuristic and 
comfortable. This may 
well be how we might 
dwell in the future. Who 
would have thought 
that furniture could 



be this interesting. 

http://bit.Lv/nChzkA 



(QR Code) 




For a list of all the links from this 
section head over to 
http://minmu.net/WVNovll/ or 
scan the QR code above with 
your mobile device. 



(PRODUCT LAUNCHES) 

SAMSUNG GALAXY NEXUS IPHONE^S 




The first phone to sport Android 
4.0 "Ice Creann Sandwich", the 
Sannsung Galaxy Nexus has 
a whopping 4.7 inch Super 
AMOLED display. 1.2 GHz 
dual-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM 
and a 5 MP cannera. The latest 
Android OS brings sonne inter- 
esting new features too. 




The world was expecting 
iPhone 5, but all Apple nnan- 
aged was to take the wraps 
off the all new iPhone 4S. 
It has a dual-core processor, 
3.5-inch retina display screen, 
8 MP camera, a faster GPU 
and Siri - a voice controlled 
intelligent assistant. 



LENOVO K1 




The company's long-expected 
foray into the tablet market took 
off with the Lenovo K1 , a 10.1- 
inch Andraid 3.1 tablet. Lenovo 
claims that its two-cell battery 
can give you a battery life of 1 
hours. It's 32GB model is priced 
at $499 which is a cool $100 
cheaper than the competition. 



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Uncharted 3 

Duration 2:27 

Watch Uncharted 3 Drake's 
deception's trailer then remove 
jawfram the floor. 
http://bit.ly/nSDvwQ 



Google beer 

Duration 13:18 

Dogfish restaurants and 
Google have collaborated 
together to create Google beer! 
http://bit.ly/qUUBo2 




Top 8 horror films 

Duration 9:34 

Film State movie expert Ryan 
has short listed eight top 
horrar flicks of all time. 
http://bit.ly/nuA79R 



Tips & Tricks 



IMPROVE 
YOUR VIDEO 
PLAYBACK 

Despite the convenience of 
codec packs and le ole' trusty 
VLC, everyone's had their 
share of days when they've felt 
their videos to be stuttering too 
much, the colours look a tad 
too washed out or there's too 
much pixelation. Fortunately, 
most DirectShow players and 
decoding filters are versatile and 
can be customised to suit one's 
needs - be it to speed up laggy 
videos or to improve visual 
fidelity at the cost of putting 
their CPUs under some more 
load. This article will mostly 
contain examples from Media 
Player Classic - Home cinema 




TRICKS 



Improve your Video Playback 75 

Google Spreadsheets 11 

Ubuntu 11.10 79 

Setting up a PC for your parents 80 

Facebook 81 

GoogLe+ 82 



video processing to the GPU 
and improve performance that 
way You'll need to go to Media 
Player Classic - Home Cinema's 
Internal Filters screen and dis- 
able FFMpeg decoding of H264, 
VC-1 and MPEG2 video so your 
graphics card can take over. 
Once you've done that, double 
click on the filters that have 
DXVA in brackets and set the 
decoder to "Skip all checks" for 
NVIDIA cards and "Full checks" 
for ATI/AMD cards. You'll also 
need to select a compatible ren- 
derer, more on that coming up. 
If you have CoreAVC 
installed and an NVIDIA card, 
you can also take advantage of 
your CPU's CUDA processing 
for performance boosts. 




Original 



Enhanced 



or ffdshow, but these changes 
can also be made on, or could 
affect, any half-way decent video 
player software because they're 
built around ffdshow or libav- 
codec anyway. 

T Queue output samples 

This neat option is rather inex- 
plicably disabled by default 
on ffdshow. When enabled, it 
allows the CPU to immediately 
move onto the next frame when 
it's done processing one, instead 
of wasting cycles like it does on 
default behaviour. It's most 
likely to be useful when you're 
experiencing lag in "heavy" 
scenes, but not throughout the 
video. To enable this option, 
open up the ffdshow video 
decoder configuration (usually 
at Start > Program Files/ 



All Programs > ffdshow 
> ffdshow video decoder 
configuration) and go to the 
option named "Queue & misc". 
Check "Queue Output Samples" 
and "Enable queue in VMR9- 
YV12" and uncheck "Use Queue 
only in:", unless you run into 
compatibility issues 



T Enable DXVA 

Most modern day video cards 
now support partial or even 
complete video decoding, so if 
for some reason your CPU is 
struggling and you have a Pure- 
Video compatible NVIDIA card 
or an AVIVO compatible ATI/ 
AMD card, you can offload your 



l^Pick a good Tenderer 

Most Video Players default 
to the Overlay method of ren- 
dering video, which while 
decent in quality is not the best 
on offer. Much better options 
include VMR9, which uses 
D3D9, or if you're on Vista or 
Windows 7, Enhanced Video 







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Queuing output samples, innprove performance How to enable DXVA on MPC-HC 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Vol 11 1 75 



Digit I November 2011 




Tips & Tricks 




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Choose the appropriate renderer to enhance video playback 



Renderer. The benefits of using 
these Tenderers include the 
reduction or elimination of 
screen tearing, allowing cards to 
render video as textures which 
results in higher quality, and the 
facilitation of DXVA. Be warned 
though, if your PC is too much of 
a fossil, it won't be able to handle 
these Tenderers because you'll 
need hardware that's at least 
D3D9 capable. 

Nearly every player has an 
option to select the renderer 
you want to use, so go ahead 
and choose. The exception being 
Windows Media Player, which 
defaults to EVR in Vista and 
7 anyway. In MPC-HC, you'll 
find the Tenderers listed in the 



Output tab, under the Playback 
section of the options. 

T Convert to RGB 

YV12 is the default output col- 
ourspace for codecs, but using 
NV12 or RGB might result in 
better quality. NV12 because it's 
the colourspace used in DXVA, 
and is required for hardware de- 
interlacing. And RGB because 
it's generally more accurate and 
results in better quality subtitles 
- but taxes your CPU a tad more. 
If you're indeed converting 
your videos to an RGB colour- 
space, and your CPU has power 
to spare, make sure to select 
the ITU-R BT.709 conversion 
method, check High quality 



YV12 to RGB conversion and 
Dithering. The latter two options 
make the colour conversion 
happen in 11-bit or above, which 
otherwise happens in 8-bit and 
could result in a phenomenon 
known as colour banding, where 
pixels of a particular colour tend 
to "band" together, stand out 
from the rest of the image and 
look very low quality. Alterna- 
tively, you could also procure or 
encode your videos in a HilOPro- 
file, which ffdshow and CoreAVC 
now natively support. 

Another thing that goes 
un-noticed is that while most 
videos, and indeed televisions, 
display images in a colour range 
of 16-255, Monitors expect a 
0-255 signal from the PC. Set- 
ting the output levels to 0-255 
will result in blacks that are 
slightly blacker, resulting in less 
washed out colours and more 
contrast. Be careful not to select 
the input range as 0-255 though, 
because that will result in doing 
the exact opposite - the loss 
of contrast and colour depth. 

All these options can be 
found under Output and RGB 
Conversion in the ffdshow con- 
figuration window. 

T Upscale video 

You can use ffdshow to upscale 
your video for drastic improve- 



ments in quality, provided your 
source video is of a sufficient 
quality. This happens because 
using the decoder to resize the 
video is a better option than 
letting your GPU or Display 
stretch the image out to fit your 
screen. It also results in sharper 
subtitles of a much higher reso- 
lution than usual. 

There are several resizing 
options to choose from. You 
can choose to resize the video 
to fit your screen resolution, 
or if you're hungry for even 
more quality use multiples to 
go as high as your processor 
allows you to. 2x or 3x is usu- 
ally the sweet spot for a 1080p 
display, unless you're resizing 
a 1080p video and your proc- 
essor can't handle it! Make 
sure to select "Process Whole 
Image" at the top of the config 
screen, though. 

TDenoise/sharpen/ 
de-interlace 

These are the other options you 
can use to extract some more 
quality out of your videos. 
Denoise 3D, which sits under 
the "Blur & NR" category in 
ffdshow, does just what you'd 
expect from a filter with that 
name - it seeks to remove 
noise from a video. It uses a lot 
of processing power though. 



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Digit I November 2011 



Vol 11 1 76 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips & Tricks 



especially if you check the "HQ" 
option, so be warned. 

In the "Sharpen" category, 
the "unsharp mask" option 
creates a blurred version 
from the original image which 
is then subtracted. This results 
in contrast boosts and a rather 
sweet boost in picture quality. 

For De-interlacing, we rec- 
ommend the "Yet Another 
Delnterlacing Filter" under 
the "Double framerate" mode, 
which creates a progressive 
image and doubles the fram- 
erate. This results in motion 
that's smoother and quite 
clearly perceptible to anyone 
who watches the video before 
and after applying this setting. 

Again, make sure to select 
"Process Whole Image" for all 
three of these settings. 

So there you have it, 
hopefully you enjoy your 
"enhanced" video playback. 
Happy watching. 

GOOGLE 
SPREADSHEETS 

Google Docs Spreadsheet is a 
part of Google's cloud-based 
productivity suite. Apart from 
the usual tools and functionality 
that a Spreadsheet program 
would provide, Google Docs 
Spreadsheet has a trick or two 
hidden up its sleeves. Here are 
a few tips to enrich your Google 
Docs experience. 

TLook up with 
GoogLeLookup 

Imagine, that you're making a 
spreadsheet on Greatest Musi- 
cians of 20^^ Century and you 
want to fill up details like the 
artist's date of birth, birthplace, 
first gig, etc. An intuitive way to 
proceed would be look up the 









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Select the data most pertinent to 
fronn a host of sources available 



details on Wikipedia and fill up 
the spreadsheet. A smarter way 
would be to use GoogleLookup 
function that Google Docs 
Spreadsheet provides. The for- 
mula looks something like this: 



does not come up with the 
right answers every time, 
when using GoogleLookup 
try to be as objective as pos- 
sible to get an answer. 

Apart from this you can 
use GoogleFinance and 
GoogleTranslate to access 
Google's other web-serv- 
ices. GoogleFinance can 
get stock market quotes 
and other related data 
you updated to your spread- 
sheet. It also has a history 
feature which tracks the 
price of a company's stock. To 
get the symbol that the company 
uses on the stockmarket, use 

^GoogleFinance ( "symbol'' ; 
"attribute'') 



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GoogleLookup can even search for text on the internet 



=GoogleLool<up ( "entity" ; 
"attribute") 

Here "entity" represents the 
name of the entity you want 
to get information on while 
"attribute" determines the type 
of information required. You 
can use lookup to populate the 
spreadsheet directly with the 
information retrieved from the 
Internet. Also GoogleLookup 
does not limit itself to numeric 
data, you can also use it to pull 
textual information from the 
web. Bear in mind that this does 
not work every time, when con- 
fused or not able to find answers, 
it will keep throwing up dialogs 
saying it could not connect to the 
Internet or just "#NA". Also it 





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Be as specific as possible when using GoogLeLookup 



GoogleTranslate can be 
used to translate text from 
one language to another and 
also to detect languages in the 
spreadsheet. The only catch 
here is that you must know 
the ISO 639-1 language codes 
of the languages involved in the 
translation. The code used is 
=GoogleTranslate(""text'\ 
"source language'', 
"target language'') 

T Manage revisions 

Google Docs is a collaborative 
tool i.e., it allows multiple users 
to work on the same document 
at the same time. This can also 
lead to files that aren't consistent 
though. Google Spreadsheets 
provides "Revision History" to 
alleviate the problems associ- 
ated with concurrent access. 
You can access the revision his- 
tory of a spreadsheet from the 
File Menu. 

Clicking on each revision 
will highlight the changes 





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Going back in time was never 
easier 

made by each user. When you 
reach a particular revision you 
want to revert your document 
to, just click on the "Restore 
this revision" link and the 
spreadsheet will be returned 
to the state it was in at that 
particular revision. Revision 
history also works for docu- 
ments that are private to you. 

TValidate data 

Another thing to be careful 
about when many people are 
collaborating on the same 
spreadsheet is that everyone 
may not input the correct type 
of date. Say, you want to make 
sure that your collaborators 
only enter well-formed email 
addresses then just add valida- 
tion to that particular column. 
Select the row or column you 
want to validate, go to Data 



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Validate sections of a sheet to 
control erroneous data entries 

>Validation, under the cri- 
teria dropdown box select Text 
and, in the very next dialog box 
select "is a valid email". You can 
also enter Help Text to aid other 
viewers in understanding what 
exactly to enter in that particular 
field. You can also allow invalid 
data to go into the spreadsheet, 
while can display a warning at 
the same time. Validations are 
not limited emails only, you can 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Vol 11 1 77 



Digit I November 2011 



Tips & Tricks 







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Refine and control numeric data entered into a sheet 



validate the content for urls, 
numbers and dates as well. 

fMail merge 

Create a new spreadsheet, go 
to Tools > Script Gal- 
lery, search for "Yet Another 
Mail Merge". CHck on the Install 
button to start installation of the 
script. Authorise the script to 
work with both Google Docs and 
Gmail. You can now see a new 
menu entry in your Google Docs 
menu which says Mail Merge. 
Populate the spreadsheet with 
the data that you want filled in 



the mail, it can be anything but 
do not forget to add an email 
column here. Head over to 
Gmail and type in the mail you 
want to send using mail merge. 
Here, the fields which are to 
be replaced by data from the 
Spreadsheet are to be enclosed 
in "$%" and "%" e.g. "$%First 
Name%. Make sure that the 
names between "$%" and "%" 
are the same as the column 
names in the spreadsheet, also 
keep the TO field blank and a 
BCC to yourself is optional. DO 
NOT press send, click on the 






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Authorise the script to install itself 



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A simple contacts table would look like this 




And this is the state of the table after YAMM works its magic 




Make sure the fields to be fetched in the mail are enclosed in "$%" 
and "%" 



Got)gle accounts 



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The permission to access Gmail is valid just for that particular 
session 



Save Now button so that the 
mail is saved in the drafts. 

Now hop over to the spread- 
sheet in which you installed 
the script. Goto l^ail Merge 
> Start, which will bring 
up a popup which says "Yet 
Another Mail Manager". 
Select the draft which we had 
saved in Gmail, after this, the 
script will do all the work. 
Popups will show the progress 
and notify you when the mails 
are sent. Keep in mind that 
the installation of the script 
is not permanent and you'll 
have to install the script each 



time you want to use it, and it 
will ask for your authorisation 
each time. In case you get an 
error saying "Select Template 
Function not found", clear all 
cookies from the browser and 
try again. In case you're get- 
ting an error citing "Cannot 
connect to Gmail", you'll 
need to remove some of the 
drafts. Google App Scripts 
have quotas associated with 
them, and you can't access 
large directories from your 
Gmail account or fire off que- 
ries resulting in a large set 
of results. 



Digit I November 2011 



Vol 11 1 78 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips & Tricks 



UBUNTU 11.10 

The much anticipated itera- 
tion of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 11.10 
Oneiric Ocelot is finally here. 
And as is the norm with all 
October releases, this one is 
more polished and packs in a 
large number of improvements 
over its predecessor. Here are 
some tips to enhance your 
Ubuntu experience. 

T Tweak the appearance 

Appearance settings lack the 
depth and range of operations 
which could be performed in 
the previous versions. To get 
back full control and the look 
and feel of the gnome shell, use 
the Gnome Tweak Tool. You can 
download it in two ways, either 
use the software centre or the 
command-line. 

To get it using Software 
Center, fire up Software Center 
and search for Advanced Set- 
tings, click on Install and you're 
done. Installing it via Terminal 
is also easy, open up Terminal 



f 6 w m 



4:07 PM AJait 




Make Gnome Look the way you want it to 



Systray in aLL its glory! 

tions like Shutter or Jupiter. To 
enable this you must white-list 
these applications. 

Use the following com- 
mand in a terminal: 
gsettings set com. canon- 
ical. Unity. Panel systray- 
whitelist "['all']'' 

Log out and log in again and 
Voila! You're done. 

tConfigure Unity 

You can tweak some parts of 
Unity's behaviour, such as use 
of the Super(Windows) Key, 
time-out after which the Dash 
is hidden and so on, using the 
Compiz Config Settings Man- 
ager. Download it using apt-get 
from the terminal, use the fol- 
lowing command: 
sudo apt-get install 
compizconfig- settings - 
manager 

Open the just 
downloaded 
Compiz Config Set- 
tings Manager, click 
on Ubuntu Unity 
Plugin to get a list of 
all Unity settings. 

In case your 

system is running 

Unity 2D, you'll 

need the dconf-tool 

to make changes 

similar to Compiz 

Config Manager. 



and use the following command 
sudo apt-get install 
gnome-tweak-tool 

Once installed the appli- 
cations is listed as Advanced 
Settings in the Dash, you can 
use it to manage themes, fonts, 
desktop and shell behaviour. 

t" Re-enable the 
notification area 

By default all the applications 
do not have the privileges to 
reside in the system tray. This 
is especially true for applica- 



■JiirTiir'Ti: 



To get the dconf-tool, open up a 

terminal and enter the following 

command: 

sudo apt-get install 

dconf-tool 

After the apt-get completes 
downloading dconf-tool you 
can change the setting using 
the dconf-editor. Start the 



+ ■1^1 



Change Unity 2D behaviour using dconf-editor 



dconf-editor by entering dconf- 
editor at the prompt and hit- 



ting enter. You'll find Unity 
2D's settings under com > 
canonical > unity-2d,. 
You have two options here: 
launcher and panel. After you 
have made the changes hit the 
Set to Default button to save 
your configuration settings. 



rinstaU Gnome 3.0 

Gnome is no longer shipped 
with Ubuntu, you'll need to 
download it separately. Fire up 
a terminal, enter the following 
^^^^^^ command: 

sudo apt-get 
^^^^^m install gnome- 
shell 

This will 
download and 
install Gnome 
3,. After it com- 
pletes, log out of 
the current ses- 
^ sion. On logging 

out you'll reach 
LightDM. 
----- Click on the 

small gear in the 
login box, which 
will let you select which ses- 
sion you want to log in to. Select 





■ 


^ 


ubuntu 

Password; 








J 


Guest Session ^ 


GNOME classic 
GNOME Classic (No efrects) 
• Ubuntu 
Ubuntu 2D 


i 


■IriT tr 



Logging into a Gnonne session 



9 



ilMfeVi 



^■tikp 




Gnome, enter your password 
and log in, you'll now log into 
a Gnome 3 session. Have fun 
exploring! 




Using Connpiz Config Settings Manager to tweak Unity 



Gnonne 3.0 desktop 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Vol 11 i 79 



Digit I November 2011 



Tips & Tricks 



SETTING UP A 
PC FOR YOUR 
PARENTS 

Our parents, old and wise they 
may be, but they are usually 
befuddled by the simplest of 
tasks relating to a computer. 
Being Digitians, we have the 
knowledge to ease our par- 
ents' burden when it comes to 
the computer. The main aim of 
this process is to ensure that 
your parents' interaction with 
the computer be kept at a bare 
minimum. In fact, follow the 
"Palm" philosophy and try and 
ensure that they can get to what 
they want within 3 clicks of 
the mouse. 



M^rfiSSlftiirirtP^iw.*^. 



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+ 



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"Word". In fact, Windows sup- 
ports very large file names, feel 
free to add a full description of 
what the program does if you 
so feel like it. You can rename 
programs like Skype to "Click to 
chat with your kids!" or some- 
thing similar. You can even try 
renaming programs like Out- 
look Express or Mozilla Thun- 
derbird to "Check your email" 
and so on. 

T Automate tasks 

Download and install all pro- 
grams that are required for 
the smooth running of your 
PC. Essentials include a good 
defragmenter, anti-virus and 
anti- spy ware software. 
Make sure that all these 
programs are set to 
update automatically 
at regular intervals. It's 
also best to set these pro- 
grams to perform their 
tasks autonomously in 
the background. If they 
have an option where 
they can be set to run 
while the screensaver is 
running, enable it. 



I ^ IC^^ 



High visibility cursors will ensure 
that your parents know exactly 
where to point 

T Rename shortcuts 

start off by creating a folder on 
the desktop. Give it a name that 
your parents would remember, 
even something like Windows' 
own "Click here to Start" should 
be enough. Make sure that the 
folder icon you use is clear and 
prominent, say a bright colour 
or a very large size. 

Now, put into that folder 
shortcuts for every single pro- 
grams you think your parents 
might need to use, or you might 
want them to use, as you try to 
assist them from the other end 
of the world. 

Rename all the programs 
to something relevant. For 
example, rename Google 
Chrome to "Internet Explorer", 
or say, OpenOffice Writer to 



t Access 
the internet 

Another area where parents 
notoriously struggle. First 
and foremost, try to setup auto 
login for your Internet con- 
nection if required. Setting up 
PPPOe in the modem or router 
beforehand will also help. As 





The Ubuntu desktop, nnaster it and it will be your friend 



You can assist via your smart 
phone as well 



mentioned earlier, rename your 
favourite browser to "Internet 
Explorer". Setting up Speed Dial 
is something that you must do. 
As with the essential programs 
folder, the speed dial should 
house all the web sites that your 
parents would need to visit. 
Attach labels according to the 
usage rather than the web site 
name. Another thing you can 
do is to ensure that autologin 
is enabled on all the web sites 
your parents will need to login 
to and that the usernames and 
passwords for those web sites 
are stored before hand. 

TEase accessibility 

Enlarge the pointer using the 
pointer options found within 
your OS. It's best if you specifi- 
cally choose the high visibility, 
enlarged, black pointers. Do 
the same for the icons as well. 
If you're using Windows 7, 
configure the libraries well and 
make sure your parents know 
how to access them. 

Enable "Ctrl to highlight 
pointer" in the mouse options 
in the Windows Control panel. 
This is a very useful feature as 
your parents, most probably, 
will spend a lot of time hunting 
for the mouse. In Ubuntu, you 
can enable the "eyes" in the 
classic gnome taskbar. Perfect 
for keeping an eye (2 in this 
case), on the mouse at all times. 

Install TeamViewer or any 
such remote access software 
so that you can have control 



of your parents' PC from any- 
where. The advantage of a soft- 
ware like TeamViewer is that 
you can not only use it from 
any PC, you can also remotely 
control another PC (your par- 
ent's PC) via an iOS or Android 
device as well. 




Setting up PPPOe in Ubuntu 
is a breeze 



fSetthem up with 
Ubuntu 

This might seem counter- 
intuitive as not many students 
themselves are comfortable 
with using Linux, so how will 
your parents deal with it? 

The main thing here is that 
using Ubuntu would, arguably, 
be easier for your parents to use, 
especially if they don't have any 
Windows specific app that they 
need to run. The OS is secure 
compared to Windows, your 
parents can plug in pen drives 
and not worry about viruses, 
messing with any major setting, 
even installing applications will 
require an administrator pass- 
word, PPPOe is easily config- 
ured in Linux. Installation of 



Digit I November 2011 



Vol 11 1 80 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tips & Tricks 



any software can be done via 
simple text commands in the 
terminal or via the bundled 
software manager. No more has- 
sles with spyware and malware 
as you would never need to get 
your parents to go to a web site to 
download any required software. 

All the basic Windows soft- 
ware has a counterpart in linux. 
OpenOffice, all the browsers 
except IE (which can still be 
emulated via wine), VLC, Thun- 
derbird, most of the bundled 
games, etc. 

An indirect advantage of 
linux would also be that the 
pesky little neighbour's kids 
won't be able to come and mess 
about with the computer too 
much while you're away! 

For the setup, just install 
Ubuntu on one large partition. 
Unity would be preferred as 
you can just add all the essen- 
tial programs in the side-bar. 
Set up automatic updates and 
make sure that all the necessary 
codecs and browser plug-ins are 
installed. Install programs like 
Picasa to manage images, VLC 
for videos, etc. 

FACEBOOK 

This social networking site 
needs no introduction. It's a site 
that's, almost literally, all perva- 
sive and is as synonymous with 
the internet as Google. 

T Enable timeline 

Facebook had recently 
announced that they were going 



The facebook Language options, 

to release a new feature which 
they called a "Timeline". Unfor- 
tunately, the release date for this 
feature was pushed back. There 
is however, a way to enable this 
feature right now. 

If you're a Facebook app 
developer and have a devel- 
oper account, it's quite possible 
that you already have a timeline 
invite and are using it. If you 
don't, here is how you go about 
getting one. 

You'll first need to enable 
developer mode. To do this, 
just log in to Facebook and 
go to http://deveLGpers.facebGQk. 
com/apps 

Create a new app and rename 
it to whatever you like. Accept 
the Facebook Platform Policies 
and proceed. 

You'll need a verified account 
to proceed beyond this step. 
Preferably use your mobile 
number for verification. If you're 



don't hesitate to experinnent 

worried about privacy, you can 
delete the number later. 

Select "Open Graph" from 
the left side Select "Get Started". 
Create a "test action", you can 
just type in the default examples 
that are given. You can put say. 
People can "watch" a "movie" or 





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Klingon would have been much 
appreciated. 

Access deals 

Facebook has introduced a fea- 
ture called "Check-in deals". If 
you use a smartphone, you just 
login to the Facebook app and, 
if you check in and provide your 
location and what cafe or store 
you intend to visit, Facebook 
will notify you if there is a deal 
available at the place you're vis- 
iting. You can then just select 
"Check in" and you'll be able 
to redeem that deal. There are 
various types of deals, some 
that require your friends to be 
present and so on. An inter- 
esting feature to look at if you're 
in the habit of travelling a lot. 

T Express yourself 

Facebook restricts your status 
updates to 420 characters, if, 




Crt9lMfenlpHa 






mi^m'^mttdi^ 



The first steps to creating your very own Facebook app 



Facebook timeline 



anything else you feel like. Then 
click on Get Started. Your app 
should now be ready. 

Wait a few minutes 
and refresh your Facebook 
homepage. You should now 
receive a developer invite to 
timeline. 

rChange languages 

Facebook gives you the option 
of changing your language. 
What is so great in that you 
ask? Well, you can try out some 
interesting ones like English 
(Pirate), "What be troublin' 
ye?", or even leet speak, "wh47 
Occup!35 jOOr 7h!nk!ngz?" 
A few extra like Dothraki or 



for whatever reason, you feel 
a bit more expressive, upload 
a photo as a status update and 
then you can type whatever you 
want underneath! 



Later Bro -^ 




^^^^ 


«^n. ■ ■ 


mi^ ^BH 


- -- - -^ ~ ■ - 




■■■■nS 




EBE^CEii 




EElEJECiCH 

ED 


■■"""■ ' ■" ' ^ 




- - 



You can easily schedule status 
updates using LaterBro 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Vol 11 1 81 



Digit I November 2011 



Tips & Tricks 



tDM 










Tag people more easily in 
Facebook using @ tags 

You can customise your pro- 
file pic to create some very inter- 
esting home pages. Check out 
http://www.profiLepicmaker.com, 
this web site offers a service 
where you upload a profile 
photo, which it will crop and 
split to create a whole pile of tiny 
images. These images need to be 
uploaded in a specific pattern to 
your profile. Clear step-by-step 
instructions on how to do this 
are present on the web site itself. 
It will take some care, but the 
results will be worth the effort. 

littp://Laterbro.com is a good 
site to check out if you want to 
send delayed status updates. 
Login using your Facebook 
id, select your time-zone, type 
out your status update and 
just schedule it for a time of 
your choice. 

Tagging people in a status 
update is very easy, just add 
an "(g)" symbol followed by 
the name of the person, eg., @ 
AgentOOl will tag Agent 001 in 
that post. 

GOOGLE PLUS 

THang out 
with hangout 

Hangout was an interesting 
feature started by google to 
let Google+ users enjoy video 
conferencing with ease. Now 
that Google+ has opened up to 
the public, Google has updated 
hangout to "Hangout with 
extras" and introduced a whole 
slew of new features. 

To start a hangout, login to 
your Google+ account and select, 
"Start a hangout". Google+ will 
give you the option of enabling 
"Hangout with extras" and all 



you have to do is check 

the box and proceed. 

You can add upto 9 

friends individually, 

or even entire circles. 

Either way, only 9 of 

you'll be able to chat 

at the same time. You'll 

need the "Google voice 

and video plugin" 

installed to be enable 

hangout. If it's not installed 

already, Google will prompt you 

and you should then install it. 

tShare a screen 
with hangout 

Screen sharing is another new 
feature which has been added 







i^^^^^x 



The interface for Hangout. Set 
your hair and get started! 

to Google+ hangouts. With the 
press of a button, you can share 
your screen with anyone. This is 
very useful if you want to give 
someone a tutorial on how to 
do something or just want to 
share what you're doing at the 
moment. You can quite literally 




An example of the interface used by GoogLe-i- for its Games section 



air a movie to your friends if you 
have a fast enough connection. 
Bear in mind that the screen 
is only viewed by the other 
users and cannot be controlled 
by them. 

T Collaborate on 
a docunnent 

Google Docs can now be shared 
and edited on hangout as well. 
Once you start a hangout, just 
click on the "+" icon next to the 
"Documents" header and you 
can then select the document 
you want to share. You can 
then collaboratively edit the 
document just as you would 
normally in Google Docs, with 
the added benefit of being able 
to chat with each other as you 
work. There is also a notepad 
and sketchpad present by 
default which you can use to 
add and edit notes and sketch 
as well. Both these are present 



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^m 



You and your friends can jointly work on a document from within 
the Hangout interface itself. 




under the "Documents" header 
and you just have to click on 
them to open and share. 

tGanne on Google+ 

Google has started adding 
games to Google+. You can 
create a circle consisting of your 
fellow gamers, for a particular 
game and only share relevant 
updates with them. You can play 
with anyone on the world and 
still ensure that not everyone 
has access to your personal 
details on Google+ itself. 

t" Miscellaneous tips 

http://bit.Ly/qcL44E adds a +1 
button to the omnibox in your 
chrome browser. This is quite 
useful as you can just hit +1 in 
the omnibox whenever you visit 
a site you want to share, regard- 
less of whether the share icon is 
present on that site or not. 
You can mention people in 
a post by using the "@" or 
"+" symbol, followed by that 
person's name. You can also 
drag that person's badge 
into your text or comment. 
You can convert text to 
bold, italics etc. with some 
simple shortcuts, "text" 
will be bold, -text- will be 
struck through and _text_ 
will appear in italics. 

Double-tap "q" on your 
keyboard to add people to 
your chat list. EI 



Digit I November 2011 



Vol 11 1 82 



I www.thinkdigit.com 



Tool box 



86 



Q&A 

Crapware, irksome dialogs, 
motlierboard woes, cranky GPU 
fans. ..Digit solves aLL your issues 



Google's self-driving cars 

Tine project is stiLL far from being viable, but Google 
lias set up a demonstration system on its campus. 
http://bit.ly/pEy3hE 



DIY: 



Remote Missile Launclier 



Mithun Mohandas 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

The launcher is triggered by a basic 
infrared remote control made 
using a L5v battery, a push-to-on 
switch, SlOz resistor and a IR LED. 
When the switch is triggered the IR LED 
emits infrared light of 940nm wavelength. 

The launcher consists of an air-core sole- 
noid coil, an electromagnet which can handle 
240volts AC. We sourced it from a doorbell. 
If it's of any help ask the guy at the hardware 
shop for a "ting-tong" bell. The solenoid 
when powered by AC voltage causes the 
armature to vibrate at 50-60Hz (depending 
on power source), so we're going to power 
with DC voltage. Which is in turn obtained 
by rectifying the voltage through a bridge rec- 
tifier. You can buy any bridge rectifier for the 
purpose or simply make one like we did. We 
rigged 4 1N4007 diodes to make the 
rectifier. A word of warning though: 
we're on a single-phase connection, 
a three-phase connection requires 
a different rectifier all together. The 
rectifier is in series with the AC 
voltage source and a relay switch. 
The relay switch is toggled by the 
phototransistor when infrared 
light of a specific wavelength is 



Ever thought of pestering your co-workers? Wanna send 
a discreet nnessage to your friend who lives in the next 
flat? Well you can use this DIY to get your job done 



focused onto it. In this case it's within the 
range of 380nm to 1180nm (SFH309). If 
you use the SFH309-FA, ensure that the IR 
LED is capable of emitting infrared light of 
880nm wavelength or in its proximity. The 
phototransistor, when activated, passes 12 
volts into the relay coil. This in turn tog- 
gles the relay and completes the circuit. 

The projectile should be thin enough to 
pass through the core of the coil. Having 
a magnetised projectile helps as a normal 
ferromagnetic projectile would just get 
attracted to the magnet and get stuck in the 
core. A way around this would be to use a 
IC555 timer to generate a small-timed pulse. 
The projectile should be placed in the core 
of the coil and the pulse will switch the 
relay for a fraction of a second which makes 
the coil attract the projectile 
towards its centre. This time 
period will provide initial 
velocity for the projectile and 
then before the coil starts 
pulling the magnet back 
towards the centre, it will 
shut down. This action will 
provide the projectile with an 
impulse force enough to fire it. 











\ 

r 


+ 
12V" 


\ 510O 




^ 


IR 







+12V 



SFH309.FA 



N 



Bridge 

Rectifier 



t 






2N222Z 



I |tM40O7 



m 




Projectfle 



: 240V AC 



RELAY 

SWITCH 





Stuff you'LL need 


Remote 


ComponenJ 


Attributes 


Switch 


Push-to-on 


Resistor 


510Q 


IRLED 


OFL-3102/OFL-5102 


Battery 


1.5V AA Dry Cell 



Launcher 


Component 


Attributes ^^^^^^^B 


Power Source 


12V 


IR Receiver SFH-309FA-4/BPW85C/ 
luHiK TEFT4300 


Transistor 


2N2222 


Resistor 


150KQ 


Solenoid Coil 


Sourced from calling bell 


IMagnetic 
armature 


Sourced from calling bell 
and modified 


Diode 


5xlN4007 


Relay ^^^H 


Coil voltage -12V DC, 
1 Contact voltage - 240V AC 


Connecting 
wires 


As needed 



Now, you can set up the launcher to 
knock your boss' door every two minutes 
to pester him. Or you could tie a message 
around the projectile and shoot a message 
across balconies. Use your imagination! 
Have fun and write in with your queries.H 



Disclaimer: The content of the pages of this 
article is for your general information and use 
only. Neither we nor any third-parties provide 
any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy 
timeliness, performance, completeness or 
suitability of the materials found in this article 
for any particular purpose. You acknowledge 
that such information and materials may contain 
inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude 
Liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the 
fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any 
information or materials in this article is entirely 
at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. 
It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that 
any products, services or information available 
through this article meet your requirements. 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



85 



Toolbox 



Intel on top 

Intel's Q3 2011 earnings have topped 
$14.3 biLLion, which is what AMD 
makes in three years 




The advent of the WarTab! 

A massive, touchscreen tablet, measuring 2x3 
feet was showcased as a potential battLefieLd 
assistant by AAI Corp 



Crapware, irksome dialogs, 
motlierboard woes, cranky GPU fans 



We have solutions for all of them. 



© A hot laptop 

The warranty period on my DeU Vostro 
A860 CoreDuo, 2GB Ram, 160 HDD - 
purchased on September 15, 2009 - has 
expired. 

The LCD has two vertical and one 
horizontal line. Battery lasts only 10 
minutes. The temperature of the PC goes 
upto 65°C and the fan makes horrible 
noise. Sometimes Laptop shuts down 
automatically. 

I talked with Dell Customer Care. They 
asked me to extend warranty for one year 
for ^15,000. Battery cost ^6,500 extra. 
Total ?21,500. 

I simply plug in the adapter and work 
on the laptop. Will it harm my laptop if I 
remove the battery, plug in the adapter and 
work on my laptop? 

What is the normal temperature of a 
laptop? Should I buy any local LCD screen 
which comes for 4-5 thousand? 

Or should I simply buy another netbook 
for ^21,500 rather than repair this laptop. 

Ganga Mahto 

W You can still use your laptop by plug- 
ging it to a wall socket. In this case, your 
laptop's battery discharges similar to its 
charging rate, maintaining 100 per cent 
charge after a point. Li-Ion batteries lose 
their capacity by doing this, but since your 
battery doesn't boast great capacity as it 
is, there's no harm in using your laptop 
while it's connected to a wall socket. 

65°C is definitely too hot for a 
laptop. Optimal temps hover around 
the 50 °C mark. Heating issues can be 
solved by cleaning the laptop's innards 
from time to time. Take professional 
help if you've never opened your 
laptop's back panel to clean its fan, 
drive out dust using an air blower. 

There's no point in repairing the 
laptop; instead, buy a new netbook. You 
can still utilise your laptop as a dedicated 
download machine or a media server. 



^ Disabling WMS 

I have a desktop PC 
with Windows XP SP3 
32-bit system. I have a 
query. When I turn off my 
computer it shows a screen 
saying "WMS Idle is ending. 
Please Wait". How can I 
disable this? 

Anupam Raj 
■i> WMS is a Microsoft 
service for media-related 
applications. It tends to 
support certain applications/ 
services when the computer is idle. It's 
a common issue with those using the 
Nero Suite. In your case, as you use Nero 
Suite 7, you might want to try this: 
Goto Start > All Programs > 
Nero > Tools > Nero Scout. 



- cS 



SelsA produce to unmstali 


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1 *vasti 4 nomeyPrc#«ssiofifll ! v] ' 


E^er path to fotdet wlwe selected praduct Is ^t^kd. 

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Al Piles From this Folder will be deletedl 


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1 Ssrwtcfl svMti AnttvUfLts - Rmosvi 
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n 


lr^.^1 



WMS Idle dialog a common issue when 
using Nero Suite 

On this screen, Uncheck 
"Enable the Nero scout". 
This should hopefully solve the issue. 

^Crapware removal 

I'm having issues with my PC. I recently 
installed Net Protector 2011. It contains a 
Zero-V component. The problem is that it 
demands that the remnants of the Avast 
be completely removed from the computer, 
which I'm unable to do. I tried deleting it 
from Program Files and Add or Remove 
Programs but to no avail. 



Please help me correct this issue as it's 
worrying me a lot. 

Also, my PC has become quite slow. 
Please suggest a suitable utility to 
correct it. 
Technical specs of my PC are as follows: 

Year of purchase: 2006 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 

RAM: Transcend 1GB. 

Motherboard: Intel 946GTS. 

OS: Windows XP SP 2 

Hard disk: Seagate, SATA- 160GB. 

Can upgrading to a newer OS such as 
Windows 7 solve the speed issues. 

Mainok Ghosh 

^ Avast can be uninstalled using 
the uninstall utility from Avast 
called aswClear. You can down- 
load it from http://bit.ly/90J9Hj 
and follow the instructions men- 
tioned there. Try installing the 
new anti-virus program now. 
Your system specs are a little dated 
and you have only 1 GB of RAM. 
Security suites tend to use a lot of 
processing power while scanning. 
First see if the uninstalling anti-virus 
improves the speed. You can try to 
upgrade your RAM in case the system is 
still running slow. Upgrading to Windows 
7 with 1 GB of RAM doesn't make sense 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 




Face-controlled wheelchair 

Miyazaki University has made wheelchairs 
controLLed by the expressive muscLes in one's face 
J http://bit.ly/nzI4Kq 



Criminal use of 3D printers 

3D printers are being used to produce ATM 
sl<immers and handcuff keys en masse 
http://bit.ly/mOXoLG 



Q&A 



as it will still run slow. A minimum 2 GB 
of RAM is recommended for Windows 7. 

© Defective GPU Fan 

I'nn having a probLem with my graphics card 
(Sparkle NVIDIA GTS 450 GDDR5/1GB) 
which I bought two months ago. The 
GPU seems to working fine but its fan 
isn't. Sometimes, it starts automaticaUy 
and sometimes it doesn't. Temperatures 
reach 100°C at Load and 65°C at idle. The 
vendor from whom I bought this card says 
that this is due to my current SMPS, so 
I changed my SMPS from 450 watts to 
Cooler Master 650 watts, but the prob- 
Lem persists. When I asked him to repair/ 
replace it, he said that it wasn't a big prob- 
Lem and the company wouldn't repair or 
replace it. Please tell me what I should do 
to sort out this problem. 
My system specs: 

• Processor: Intel Core i5 2,500k 

• RAM: Kingston 4GB ddrS 1333 MHz 

• GPU: Sparkle NVIDIA gts 450 

• SMPS: Cooler Master 650 watts 

• Speakers: Intex 5,000 watt pmpo 

• HDD: Seagate 500 GB 

Suraj Singh 

^y There doesn't seem to be a problem 
with the SMPS. Most likely, the fan 
connector must be damaged which is 
causing the fan to behave erratically. You 
might want to get just the fan connec- 
tors checked by someone. Maybe one of 
the connector wires has become loose 
and not making proper contact, which 
is causing the fan to stop working. 

Don't go by the vendor's assurance 
that it isn't a big problem. On idle, 65 
degrees is a big problem. Avoid playing 
any games or subjecting your GPU to 
such high temperatures as you'll be 
reducing its life if it's running at those 



temperatures. Your system specs are quite 
up-to-date and it's a decent gaming rig. 

© Motherboard pains 

One day I found that the front USB ports 
weren't working. I opened the case and 
tried different plugs. I also tried a spare 
USB port but couldn't get anything. 

I put everything back together and 
now it won't boot. It'll POST and reach 
the Windows loading screen, then 
spends a minute on the moving blue bar. 
Then it flashes a blue Screen of Death 
and reboots. 

I wonder if my motherboard is dying. 
I'll give a brief description of the machine 
and its recent history: 

It's about a 4.5-year-old home-built 
machine with a couple of upgrades to RAM 
and graphics over time. Now it's an Athlon 
64 2800 socket 754 on an MSI K8T Neo 
with 1.5g ddr 400 Kingston value and an 
agp NVIDIA 6800gs. 

Recently, I was having issues with 
graphic lag and artifacting when playing 
Worhommer online. So, a friend of mine 
lent me his old case and power supply. 
This did the trick for the graphics issues. 

But after the transplant, most of the 
rear ports except onboard sound and 
ethernet wouldn't work. So I just began 
using the front ports. 

So now I can't boot or connect a mouse 
or keyboard to my PC. Any ideas? Or do I 
likely just need a new motherboard? 

-via email 

-^ Firstly, your system is a bit old, so you 
can't expect it to perform wonderfully. 
You'll keep facing issues as components 
wear out over time. As regards to the USB 
issue, well, first of all make sure that you 
have the latest chipset drivers installed. 
If that's done and USB drives are still not 



visible, goto Device Manager > Uni- 
versal Serial Bus.Uninstallallthe 
USB ports. Don't worry, they'll be 
reinstalled on startup. 

If this doesn't work, then disable the 
USB Selective Suspend by going in the 
regedit folder. Go to Run > regedit. 
In the regedit folder, try to find this file 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Cur- 
rent\ControlSet\Services\USB 




jrlifiiiiniiiiTIi 11 r '' 



Update driver using the Device Manager 

If the DisableSelectiveSuspend 
registry entry is present then select 
it and change the value from to 1 to 
disable it and then click OK. Else create 
an entry by clicking on Edit > New 
> DWORD Type DisableSelec- 
tiveSuspend and press [Enter]. Then 
on the Edit Menu, click Modify and in the 
Value field, type 1 to disable the Selec- 
tive Suspend feature and click OK. 

As for the BSOD, you need to clear 
your CMOS and try rebooting. 

If even this doesn't work, then you 
might have to get your motherboard 
checked or replaced. It is very pos- 
sible that your motherboard is having 
power management issues. H 



JS 



Versatile Series 

Stay Cool with Metallio Chio 



IceCool Technology • First notebooks designed witin • 2nd generation 

l<eeps palm rests cool • multi-color aluminum textures • Intel® Core™ processor 

The prices, specification and availability of products is subject to change without prior notice. Products may not be available in all markets. Products S 
responsible for any typing errors in specifications. Kindly check with your local dealer for exact details. *Conditions apply 




www.asus.in 
Toll Free No.: 1800-2090-365 

shown are for representation purpose only; actual products/accessories may vary. ASUS India is not 



Gaming Stuff 

Find out which l<eyboard and 
mouse wiLL worl< the best 
for you 




Choosing the right motherboard for your system is an arduous tasl<, specially with 
so many brands and chipsets to contend with. We make that tasl< easier for you by 
testing over 30 boards (both Z68 and A75 chipset based) 



Nimish Sawant 

nimish.sawant@thinkdigit.com 



W; 



"hat moth- 
erboard 
should I 
buy?" is 
one of the most common ques- 
tions our readers ask us. Within 
motherboards, there are so many 
levels to consider that without 
proper guidance it's very difficult 
to pin down a specific board. 

This year saw the entry of 
Intel's Sandy Bridge mother- 
boards with the P67 and H67 
chipsets, which Digit com- 



pared back in January. The Z68 
chipset was launched in May and 
more recently, the A75 chipset 
was introduced by AMD. We 
decided to do a shootout of 
boards based on these two 
chipsets. You can expect a 
similar shootout of higher end 
chipsets, namely AMDs 990FX 
(already in the market) and 
Intel's X79 (to be launched later 
this year) sometime next year. 
Needless to say, the Z68 and 
A75 are two completely different 
chipsets and boards housing 
these chipsets are not compa- 
rable. For this precise reason. 



even though we've tested both 
these chipsets, they should be 
considered as two separate com- 
parison tests. 

Z68 Boards 

^20,000 and up 

A category of boards that is over- 
kill for most users, but there's a 
definite demand for such boards. 
It's all about overclocking and 
tweaking and of course the 
looks. We got three boards which 
were priced well over ?20,000 
namely the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7- 
B3, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme 
Z and Gigabyte Gl Sniper 2. 



Gl Sniper2 is the LGA1155 
iteration of the original Gl 
Sniper which was available on 
the LGA1366 socket for the X58 
chipset. The packaging of the 
board and the board itself com- 
mand attention. A metallic bullet 
magazine acts as the heatsink for 
the southbridge and has a cheeky 
warning, "Not a weapon, cannot 
be assembled as a firearm." The 
heatsink in the centre has five 
LEDs that glow green when the 
board is powered on. 

The Gl Sniper 2 has features 
such as an on-board BigFoot 
Killer E2100 NIC and Creative 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



106 



Bazaar 

AcerSSULtrabook, G'Five 
G20 gaming phone, Microsoft 
Toucli Mouse 2.... 



Automatic OC faceoff 

Tom's Hardware did a piece on automatic 
overcLocl<ing and OC buttons on Mobos 
http://goo.gl/7HQ4a 



Motherboards Test 



HOW WE TESTED 



We believe that a motherboard's per- 
formance is compLeteLy a function of 
its components. The higher specced 
the components, the better the performance 
that you'LL get. For the same chipset, the varia- 
tion in performance is not very evident from our 
scores. The difference is within the margin of 
error. This can be easily understood by the fact 
that benchmark scores from a ^8,000 board are 
quite similar to the benchmark scores from a 
?30,000 motherboard, give or take five percent. 
So it uLtimateLy boiLs down to the feature set 
you're getting with the motherboard, the buiLd 
quality, ease of overcLocking and other factors. 
Keeping this in mind, we decided to not give any 
weightage to the performance scores. We have 
run the benchmarks, and the scores are shared 
in the tables on the foLLowing pages. In our final 
evaluation though, we've not considered these 
scores as they don't give you an estimation of 
the motherboard's value. 

Our Test Rig comprised of the foLLowing 
components: 



For Intel Z68 boards 

Processor: InteL Core i7-2600K 
HDD: WD VeLociraptor 600 GB 
RAM: 2x2GB Kingston HyperX RAM 
Graphics Card: ZOTAC GTX 560 
Power SuppLy: CooLer Master GX 650W 
OS: Windows 7 ULtimate x64 
For AMD Boards 
Processor: AMD A8-3850 
HDD: WD VeLociraptor 600 GB 
RAM: 2x2GB Kingston HyperX RAM 
Graphics Card: Integrated GPU AMD 
HD6550D 

Power SuppLy: CooLer Master GX 650W 
OS: Windows 7 ULtimate x64 

The Layout of the board was scored, we 
checked if there was enough spacing around 
the CPU region to comfortabLy attach the CPU 
cooLer and which direction the SATA ports 
were pointing (those pointing up got a Lesser 
score). Spacing between the RAM sLots and 
the graphics card was checked. We aLso noted 



the spacing between PCIe and PCI sLots. If 
a duaL-sLot card bLocked the next PCIe sLot, 
marks were deducted. 

For buiLd quaLity we noted the sturdiness 
of the heat sinks around the VRM (VoLtage 
ReguLator ModuLe) regions and the southbridge. 
Motherboards Lacking a heatsink around the 
VRM region got a Lesser score. Boards with aLL 
soLid state capacitors got a higher score. Back 
paneL I/O ports were noted and aLso the option 
to expand USB ports. Fan connectors and SATA 
connections were noted. 

OvercLocking features such as utiLities and 
on-board chip additions were taken into consid- 
eration. Boards having more options to overcLock 
and tweak got a higher score. ALso, the BIOS 
user experience was noted. Boards which didn't 
have a UEFI BIOS got a Lower score since that's 
the future. 

We did a thorough checking and testing 
(wherever appLicabLe) of the feature set offered 
by a motherboard and based on the price, have 
decided on the winners. 



digital audio processor. It also 
houses on-board amplifiers to 
drive audio. On-board implemen- 
tation of a good sound processor 
is impressive for most users, but 
hardcore audiophiles will be 
disappointed and will invest in 
a dedicated sound card anyway. 
There's a dedicated overclock 
button on the back I/O panel to 
overclock the processor on the 
fly without having to reboot the 
system. Display ports are natu- 
rally absent. And needless to say, 
it's high time Gigabyte revamped 
the BIOS, Touch BIOS is a gim- 
mick and is nothing like the expe- 
rience on a UEFI BIOS. 



The ASUS Maximus IV 
Extreme Z belongs to the 
Republic of Gamers (RoG) series. 
Build Quality is top-notch with 
attractive crimson-black heat 
sinks with multiple fins around 
the CPU. The RoG logo glows red 
when the system is powered on. 
Eight fan- connectors on-board 
will ensure sufficient cooling 
for your system. 

The Maximus IV Extreme 
houses an Nvidia NF200 chip 
which controls second and fourth 
PCIel6x slot, while the proces- 
sor's integrated controller con- 
trols the first and third. What this 
means is that you can run two 




M^^'"' 



cards in SLI at xl6/xl6 speed (slot 
2 and 4), but there isn't much of a 
difference between the two con- 
figurations as latency from the 
NF200 chip has to be taken into 



Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD 



account. So, this shouldn't be one 
of the reasons for you to consider 
this board. For those planning on 
a three-way SLI setup, NF200 
does help. 



Versatile Series 

Stay Cool with Metallio Chio 



IceCool Technology • First notebooks designed witin j 
keeps palm rests cooi • muiti-color aluminum textures ; 



2nd generation 
Intel® Core™ processor 



The prices, specification and availability of products is subject to change without prior 
responsible for any typing errors in specifications. Kindly check with your local dealer fore 




www.asus.in 
Toll Free No.: 1800-2090-365 



;. Products may not be availablf 
ct details. *Conditions apply 



shown are for representation purpose only; actual products/; 



may vary. ASUS India is 



Nokia & NFC 

Nokia Launches NFC Hub to help in business 
development growtii. http://bit.ly/oQOlkx 



Tried & tested 




ASUS Zenbook UX21 Teardown 

Asus' Latest uLtra-sLim Laptop, tLie ll-incLi Zenbook 
was taken apart to pieces, http://bit.ly/ob2c68 

\iESLHUl 



NOVEMBER 2011 



Z68 Motherboards 1 


1 Under no.doo I 


|no,oooton4,ooo 


Brand 

Model ^^^^^^^^^^H 


Biostar 


ASRocli 


Gigabyte 


ASUS 


Intel 


ZOTAC 


ASUS 


ASUS 


ASUS 




TZ68K+ 


Z68 

Extreme3 

Gen3 


Z68AP-D3 


P8Z68 
JVIPro 


DZ68D8 


Z68 ITX 
A-E 


P8Z68-V 
LE 


P8Z68-V 


JVIaximus 
IV GENE Z 


i 


Price (in ?) 

Features and Specs (Out of 70) ^^^^^ 

Board Layout (Out of 10) 

Build Quality (Out of ^^^^^| 

Pacliage Bundle (Out of 5) 

Overall (Out of 100) 


7,990 


8,800 


9,880 


9,901 


10,000 


10,600 


10,994 


13,041 


13,110 




24.57 


33.32 


18.62 


25.62 


16.87 


18.48 


26.04 


30.24 


34.16 a 


r 


6.5 


7.4 


7.3 


6.6 


6 


6 


6.6 


7.6 


7.3 




^i^H 


12.825 


10.95 


10.95 


5.25 


9.9 


11.25 


12.825 


13.65 ' 




1.2 


1 


1.2 


1.2 


0.6 


1.2 


1.2 


1.6 


1.3 




43.37 


54.545 


38.07 


44.37 


28.72 


J5^^ 


45.09 


J2.265 


56.41 


' 


j^Max. Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs 

No. of SATA 2 / SATA 3 / eSATA Ports 

No. of PCI Express xl6 Graphics SLots 

MuLti GPU (SLI/CrossFire) Support 

OpticaL S/PDIF Port / LAN Port 

Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N) 

No. of Ports: USB 2.0/USB 3.0 ^^^H 

No. of Ports: FireWire / eSATA 
[DispLay Ports DVI / VGA / HDMI / DispLay Port 

Power and Reset Buttons (Y/N) 

UEFI BIOS /Lucid Virtu (Y/N) 

Headers: USB 2.0 /USB 3.0 


4/32 


4/3? 


4/32 *-*'^' 


^<^J^'^^'^^ 


■4/lS^ 


Alii, 


^W!^ 


^^^H 


^Kf^ 




4/2/0 


4/2/0 


4/2/0 


mil 


2/2/1 


2/2/0 


4/2/0 


4/2/0 


4/2/0 




2 


2 


1 


1 


1 


1 


2 


3 


^1 




Y/Y 


Y/Y 


N/Y 


Y/Y 


N/N 


N/N 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 




N/1 


Y/1 


N/1 


Y/1 


N/1 


Y/2 


Y/1 


Y/1 


Y/1 J 




N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


Y 


N 


N 


N 






4/2 


4/2 


4/2 


6/2 


4/2 


4/2 


6/2 


8/2 ^ 




0/0 


0/1 


0/0 


0/1 


1/1 


0/0 


0/0 


0/1 


0/2 




Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


N/N/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


N/N/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


N/N/Y/N ■ 


, 


Y 


Y 


N 


N 


N 


Y 


N 


Y 


Y 




Y/Y 


Y/Y 


N/Y 


Y/Y 


N/Y 


N/N 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y j 




3/0 


4/0 


3/0 


5/0 


4/0 


2/1 


4/1 


3/1 


2/1 




POST debug LED / Button for overcLocking 

TotaL Fan Connectors 

Form Factor ^^^^^^^^^^^| 


N/N 


Y/N 


N/N 


N/N 


N/N 


Y/N 


N/N 


N/N 


Y/Y 1 




3 


6 


4 


3 


3 


2 


4 


6 


5 






.ATX.^ ..., 


.ATX 


MicroATX 


ATX 


Mini ITX 


.M.^_. - 


M^^ 


MicroATX 


' 


^Region around CPU / SAT/ffoTLocatibn 
PLacement of Memory ModuLes 
Graphics Card SLot and PCI SLots ^^ 






^6:5/7 


7/5 


6.5/5 


W^"^' ' 


J'fS^--^^ 


"rm ^"^"" 


'fe/7^^^^ 


8 


8 


8 


8 


6 


7 


8 


8 


8 


ALL SoLid State Caps (Y/N) ^^^^^^^ 

Button BuiLd / Feedback 

VRM/Southbridge H|gt|j|^,^gg||J|^^^^^^^| 


4/8 


7/8 


NA 


NA 


NA 


4/6 


NA 


7/8 


8/8 


1 




5.5/6 


5.5/6 


0/5 ^^ 


.ikS^.... 


^j^^_ 


^-^ 


8,5/S.^H^^B 


No of SATA CabLes ^^^^^^^^^^| 

USB 3 Bracket 

CrossFire/SLI Bridge ^^^^^1 


1 




2 ^^^ 


^^H 


^^H 


^^S 


^IH 

















1 








N 


[Performance (Only for ref erence)^^^^^* 

Cinebench RII.5 (OpenGL/CPU (aLL cores)) 
3D Mark OveraLL 


51.74/6.66 


51.85/6.68 


52.42/6.79 


51.19/6.83 


55.91/6.98 


49.75/6.5 


51.42/6.87 


51.67/6.76 


52.04/6.83 




4150 


4109 


4154 


4174 


4178 


4146 


4182 


4180 


4179 




1 WinRAR 4.U (MuLti-threaded) ^^^^^" 
100 MB flLe Video Encoding (VOB-DivX 7) (sec) 
FiLe Transfer (SequentiaL /Assorted) (MB/s) 
USB 3.0 SequentiaL Write/Read (MB/s) 
USB 3.0 Assorted Write/Read (MB/s) ^^^ 


3503 


3509 


3505 


3516 


3687 


3491 


3529 


3535 


3515 ^H 




20.28 


19.35 


20.79 


19.42 


19.39 


20.52 


19.52 


19.6 


19.51 




45.7/48.5 


41.2/47.2 


475/48.5 


41.2/41.2 


46.8/47.5 


44.8/49.1 


46.2/46.2 


46.38/47.1 


47.3/49.2 ■ 


, 


66.1/84.8 


64.8/88.1 


66.7/88.3 


65.6/86.5 


65.6/83.5 


66.5/85.4 


65.4/86.6 


67.1/85.5 


65.1/85.5 




44.7/70.2 


44.8/73.7 


474/71.4 


44.4/72.2 


44.6/67.5 


46.9/72.7 


AAA/77.7 


44.8/71.8 


47.6/71.6 




[Game ^^^^^| ^^^^^| 


Resident EviL 5 (1680x1050, med) ^^^| 
STALKER: COP (1680x1050, med) 


178.2 


176.2 


180.2 


180.2 


190.8 


175.4 


181.2 


181.9 


^^^^1 


164.7 


164.9 


165.6 


163.1 


164.2 


163.2 


163.7 


164.8 


165 



On-board RoG features are 
also quite exhaustive and give you 
many ways to overclock or tweak 
your way through. RoG Connect 
allows you to connect your moth- 
erboard to a notebook and tune it 
on the fly With iDirect, you can 



do the tweaking using an iPad or 
even an iPhone, a decent feature 
to show off to your pals. A BIOS 
switch allows you to maintain a 
copy of your stable BIOS while 
you tinker with the other BIOS. 
The Z68X-UD7-B3 is Giga- 



byte's flagship Z68 board and 
comes with the traditional bells 
and whistles of all UD7 boards. 
A black-coloured PCB densely 
packed with ICs provides 
a perfect background to the 
grey/golden heatsinks. All 



the heatsinks are connected 
via a heat pipe which assists 
in heat dissipation. Com- 
pared to Gl Sniper2, this 
board has a good assortment 
of back I/O panel ports. A 
dedicated Start button and POST 



90 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



Steve Jobs was opposed to apps 

Excerpts from Jobs' authorized biography reveals the Apple 
visionary was initiaLLy opposed to aLL things apps. 



Five pros of Google+ 

GoogLe+ has had its detractors but they're wrong. 
GoogLe+ is awesome. http://gizmo.do/mQ5M6j 



NOVEMBER 2011 




NOVI 



NOVEMBER 2011 





|a47000to?20,000 ^ 1 


k20,000 and up 




MSI 


ASUS 


ZOTAC 


MSI Gigabyte ASUS 


MSI ASRocIc 


Gigabyte ASUS 


Gigabyte 


^ 


Z68MA- 
ED55 


P8Z68-V 
Pro 


Z68 ITX B-E 


Z68A-GD65 Z68XP- P8Z68 
B3 UD3-iSSD Deluxe 


Z68 
Z68A-GD80 Extreme7 
Gen 3 


Z68X UD7 Maximus IV 
B3 Extreme Z 


Gl Sniper 2 

J 




13,500 


14,248 


14,400 


14,980 16,250 17,997 


18,900 18,999 


23,920 26,220 


34,500 


i 


28.42 


30.38 


16.45 


29.33 25.13 32.69 


31.43 37.8 


26.11 37.03 


22.61 ^1 




6.8 


7.2 


6 


7.15 7.3 7.5 


6.9 7.2 


7.35 7.6 


7.5 


^g 


12.75 


12.825 


9.975 


11.55 11.7 12.825 


13.05 13.425 


13.2 13.65 


12.6 1 




0.6 


1.6 


1.2 


1.6 1.6 1.6 


1.6 1.75 


2 2.4 


1.6 




48.57 


52.005 


33.625 


49.63 45.73 54.615 


52.98 60.175 


48.66 60.68 


^±11.^1 


m 


^^~-r....4 








4/2/0 


4/2/2 2/2/0 4/4/0 4/2/0 4/2/2 4/3/0 4/6/0 


4/2/2 4/2/2 2/2/2 


' 


^^^ 


3 2 2 3 3 5 


4 4 2 ^H 




N/Y 


Y/Y N/N Y/Y Y/Y Y/Y Y/Y Y/Y 


Y/Y Y/Y Y/Y 


^1 


Y/1 


Y/1 Y/1 Y/1 Y/1 Y/2 Y/2 Y/2 


Y/2 Y/2 Y/1 J 




N 


N Y N N N N N 


N N N 




g^B^^ 


6/2 2/2 4/2 8/2 8/2 4/2 2/4 


2/6 1/8 7/2 „^H 




1/0 


0/1 0/1 0/0 1/0 1/2 1/1 1/1 


2/2 0/2 0/1 


d 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N Y/N/Y/Y Y/Y/Y/N N/N/Y/N N/N/N/N Y/N/Y/N Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/N/N/N N/N/N/N N/N/Y/N ^ 




Y 


Y N N N Y Y Y 


Y Y N 


■ 


Ml^^ 


Y/Y N/Y Y/Y N/Y Y/Y Y/Y Y/Y 


N/N Y/Y N/Y 1 




4/0 


3/1 1/1 3/1 3/1 2/1 3/1 4/1 


2/2 4/1 3/1 


, 


^^H 


N/N N/N N/Y N/N Y/N N/Y Y/N 


Y/N Y/Y N/Y J 




4 


6 2 5 4 5 5 6 


6 8 5 




MicroATX 


/VrX„ ..MiniJTX. ...AJX _/^ /^ „.._/VQ(. .AIX. 


,AP< eATX „A-D(_^ 




W^/r-'^^^ ' 








6 


8 7 8 8 8 8 8 


8 8 8 






^^^^^^^^H 


8/8 


7/8 5/6 NA NA 7/8 8/8 7/8 


8/8 8/8 NA 


^^^UM&l. _ 






1 


^^^^^I^^^^^H^^^^V 4 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^H^^^^^l 


1 







1 1 1 N 1 1 1 


1 


1 




50.45/6.61 


52.68/6.86 


25.1/6.65 


51.21/6.62 


55.47/6.86 


53.23/6.86 


51.29/6.64 


51.1/6.68 


50.78/6.59 


52.68/6.88 


51.49/6.62 , 




4174 


4102 


1141 


4159 


4134 


4177 


4145 


4144 


4134 


4185 


4145 


^■^ 


3503 


3370 


3314 


3505 


3535 


3529 


3493 


3491 


3490 


3544 


3484 ^1 




20.42 


20.23 


20.76 


20.42 


19.97 


19.34 


20.34 


20.41 


20.51 


20.07 


20.86 


■ 


46.9/48.7 


46.1/46.4 


45.1/43.5 


46.7/45.4 


46.7/46.5 


47.2/46.3 


47.5/44.4 


48.54/44.3 


47.2/45.3 


45.8/46.2 


44.8/45.2 ^ 




68.5/84.5 


671/86.3 


61.1/81.5 


67.7/85.2 


63.1/82.1 


65.4/86.3 


68.6/83.4 


67.5/82.2 


66.0/80.1 


65.8/86.1 


67.0/81.1 


I 


44.7/72.3 


44.3/71.9 


25.8/68.4 


45.6/71.3 


44.3/674 


44.4/72.7 


44.5/72.2 


41.4/70.2 


45.2/72.16 


45.1/73.1 


45.2/68.7 


^^ ^^ 


I 


178.4 


178.2 70.7 


175.8 


182.4 181.1 176.5 1^8.4 ^^| 


pL74.4 


179.1 177.9 j 




164.2 


163.4 44.8 


162.5 


163.2 165.2 163.3 164.2 


163.3 


165.2 164.1 



debug LED are helpful additions 
and so is the Gigabyte DualBIOS, 
which lets you keep a backup 
of the stable BIOS in one 
chip. Three-way SLI at xl6/ 
x8/x8 is possible due to the 
NF200 chip. 



Another interesting feature 
is that you can use the USB 3.0 
ports as charging points for USB 
peripheral devices even when 
your system is off or in standby. 

The BIOS is the only 
sore point about this board 



specially when compared 
with the beautiful BIOS on the 
ASUS board. Absence of Lucid 
Virtu support on the board 
means that you won't be able to 
use integrated graphics for 
tasks such as transcoding, but 



then we doubt anyone would be 
using integrated graphics in the 
first place assuming you house 
graphics on this board. 

In terms of future-proofing, 
all the boards have BlOSes to 
make them compatible with the 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



91 



Tried & tested 



Superheated TVs 

Sony to recaLL 1.6 miLLion bravia 
TV's due to meLLting components 
http://engt.co/oxzlKN 




Purple Roku LT 

Arriving this month at a price of ^2,500, 
the Roku LT is a Lite version Lacking 
bLuetooth and a card reader 



A75 Motherboards 


Brand 


ASUS 


Gigabyte 


Gigabyte 


Biostar 


ZOTAC 


ECS 


ASUS 


ASUS 




Model ^^^^^^^^^^H 


m 
F1A75-V PRO 


A75IV1-D2H 


A75IV1-UD2H 


TA75A+ 


A75ITXA-E 


A75F-M 


F1A75IV1 


F1A75IV1 
Pro 




Price (in ?) 


8,648 


6,370 


6,591 


6,800 


7,990 


5,000 


6,704 


7,100 




Specifications (Out of 70) ^^^^^| 


^3.6 


27.23 


30.17 


31.22 


27.79 


29.33 


29.82 


31.15 




Board Layout (Out of 10) 


7.3 


6.3 


6.3 


7.8 


6.05 


6.95 


7.6 


7.6 




Build Quality (Out of 20) 


11.2 


7.9 


11.5 


12.5 


10 


3 


7.6 


11.8 




Grand Total (Out of 100) 


52.1 


41.43 


47.97 


51.52 


43.84 


39.28 


45.02 


50.55 




Max. Memory Supported (GB) / No of DIMMs 


64/4 


32/2 


64/4 


64/4 


32/2 


64/4 


64/4 


64/4 


No. of SATA 3 ports 


6 


6 






^^^^^ 


I^^^^H 


^^^^m 




No. of PCI Express xl6 graphics sLots 


2 


2 


2 


2 


1 


1 


2 


2 


OpticaL SPDIF Port / LAN Port ^^^^^H 




Y/1 


Y/1 


N/1 


Y/2 


Y/1 


Y/1 


Y/i~H^^H 


Integrated Wi-Fi (Y/N) 


N 


N 


N 


N 


Y 


N 


N 


N 


No. of ports: USB 2.0/USB 3.0/FireWire/eSATA 


2/4/0/1 


4/2/0/1 


4/2/1/1 


4/2/0/0 


0/6/0/0 


4/2/0/0 


4/2/0/0 


2/4/0/0 ^^H 


DispLay Ports DVI / VGA / HDMI / DispLay Port 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/ N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Power and Reset Buttons (Y/N) 


N 


N 


N 


Y 


N 


N 


N 


_-^^^l 


Headers: USB 3.0 /USB 2.0 


1/4 


1/1 


1/2 


1/ 3 


1/2 


1/3 


1/3 


1/4 


Fan Connectors 


4 


2 


2 


3 


1 


2 


3 


4 


Form factor ^^^^^^^^^^^^^H 
1 «w«..* /c« in\ ^^^^^^^^^^^H 


^TX 


MicroATX 


Micro ATX 


ATX 


Mini ITX 


Micro ATX 


MicroATX 


Micro ^^1 
AT<.^____^^^J 


[Region around the CPU ^^^^^^^^^^| 


^^ 


^^^^ 














Location of SATA Ports 


7 


5 


5 


8 


5 


6.5 


8 


8 


iPLacement of Memory moduLes 
Graphics card sLot and PCI sLots 


o 
8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


ALL SoLid State Caps (Y/N) 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


N 


Y 


Y 


Button Feedback 











7 














^ VKI"! 1 ledLSM IK UUdLILy ^^^^^^^^^^H 

Southbridge Heatsink QuaLity 


6 


u 
6.5 


6.5 


5 


5 


5 


6 


6 


Cinebench R11.5 


OpenGL .^^^L 


26.01 


26.45 


26.34 


26.25 


26.56 


26.46 


26.14 


26.19 




CPU (ALL cores) 


3.45 


3.48 


3.39 


3.47 


3.32 


3.4 


3.41 


3.42 




[ 3D Mark 11 OveraLL ^^^^^^^H 




1029 


1031 


1017 


1033 


1023 


1029 


1024^H 




WinRAR 4.0 (MuLti threaded) 


1828 


1841 


1841 


1828 


1775 


1777 


1821 


1764 




100 MB fiLe Video Encoding (VOB-DivX 7) (sec) 


40.07 


39.04 


39.43 


40.22 


40.53 


40.59 


40.28 


40.08 ^ 


I 


FiLe Transfer SequentiaL / Assorted (MB/s) 


43.72/41.88 


44.04/42.22 


45.79/43.04 


46.02/44.57 


46.11/41.02 


44.4/43.43 


45.2/45.2 


41.0/41.5 




USB 3.0 SequentiaL Write / Read (MB/s) 


62.06/7722 


62.64/776 


63.01/775 


63.01/76.5 


64.72/7767 


62.95/79.28 


66.6/78.2 


65.4/772 




USB 3.0 Assorted Write / Read (MB/s) 


25.92/62.5 


23.4/62.51 


26.59/59.76 


24.23/5754 


40.89/61.16 


40.93/62.84 


41.5/62.8 


40.5/61.7 




^^^^K ^^^^1 


Resident EviL 5 (1680x1050, med) 


43.2 


42.9 


42.9 


42.8 


41.4 


42.8 


42.7 


42.4 




STALKER: COP (1680x1050, med) ^^H 




26.4 


26.4 


26.2 


25.6 


26.1 


26.1 


26.2 ■ 





Ivy Bridge family of processors. 
But we doubt anyone would want 
to move from Sandy Bridge so 
soon. Only the Gl Sniper 2 offers 
PCIe 3.0 support (which has 
almost double the bandwidth 
that is offered by PCIe 2.0) 
thanks to the Pericom PI3PCIE 
switches. PCIe 3.0 standard 



will be supported by future 
graphics cards running along- 
side the Ivy Bridge CPUs. 

Winners: ASUS Maximus 
IV Extreme Z won the Best Buy 
thanks to its overall highest 
score. Its feature set and over- 
clocking options give it an edge 
over the competing boards. 



n4,000 to ^20,000 

Enthusiasts who don't want the 
bells and whistles of the RoG 
series or the Gl killer, will look 
for boards in this price bracket. 
We look for boards that offer 
a great build and important 
feature set, and good over- 
clocking options. 



One board that seems out of 
place here is the ZOTAC Z68ITX 
B-E. This board has an onboard 
NVIDIA GT 430 graphics 
module. Needless to say, this 
isn't an enthusiast board and is 
an ideal candidate for an HTPC 
setup thanks to the variety of 
display ports, an onboard 



92 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



PlayStation 3D display coming 

The $499 24-inch display wiLL begin shipping to stores and 
to pre-orders on November 13 




Vengeance is sweet 

Corsair announced the Launch of its 
"rigorousLy-screened", 8 GB RAM modules 



Motherboards Test 



NOVEMBER 2011 




ASUS 


MSI 


Gigabyte 


ASRock 


ASRock 


^1 


^1A75-M 
LE 


A75MA-G55 


A75-D3H 


A75 Extreme6 


A75 Pro4-M 




6,158 


6,865 


7,020 


7,500 


5,950 


^^^ 


^.13 


25.62 


32.2 


40.04 ^^B 


.18 




5.9 


6.45 


6.9 


7.6 


6.05 


^B 


7.6 


12.4 


7.9 


15.1 


11.2 ^ 




38.63 


44.47 


47 


62.74 


45.25 




32/2 


64/4 


64/4 


64/4 


64/4 


^^^1 


^^^^B 






^^^^^^H 


^^^^^1 




2 


2 


2 


3 


2 






N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


^M 


4/2/0/0 


4/2/0/0 


2/4/0/1 


2/4/1/1 


2/4/0/1 




Y/Y/N/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N 


^^B 


^ 


N 


N 


^^H 


^ _ 


^^ 


1/3 


1/2 


1/4 


1/3 


0/2 


^^ 


2 


3 


3 


6 


4 




- 
Micro ATX 


Micro ATX 


A"D< 


A"D< 


Micro ATX 






^^^^ 






|^^^~ 


^^ 


5 


6 


7 


8 


5 




8 


8 


8 


8 


8 




Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


^^ 











8 









6 


6.5 


6.5 


6.5 


6.5 




^^B 


|6.14 


26.44 


26.72 


26.56 


25.97 




3.45 


3.45 


3.43 


3.45 


3.45 


^^B 


^^^■_ 


^1033 


1033 


1007 ^^H 


^^^^1 




1771 


1834 


1790 


1834 


1834 


^^B 


fTl.03 


40.23 


39.64 


39.58 


40.12 ^ 




45.16/44.4 


46.13/44.19 


4704/46.4 


45.33/45.2 


45.1/45.0 


^^B 


65.04/772 


65.37/778 


65.24/78.7 


64.4/83.3 


46.3/65.2 




41.45/62.1 


43.68/63.43 


44.1/63.44 


4753/65.4 


46.3/65.2 


^^^K ^^^K 




43.1 


43.5 


44.5 


42.8 


42.6 


^^B 


^^^B 


^^^^B 


^^^1 


^^■^^^^^1 



Wi-Fi adapter and an onboard 
graphics card. Its priced higher 
considering it houses SO DIMM 
slots, which has costlier laptop 
RAM modules. 

Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, 
is the only motherboard with an 
on-board SLC SSD drive con- 
nected to an mSATA port just 



below the CPU socket. The Intel 
20 GB SSD is ideal for users 
who'll be using the Intel Rapid 
Storage Technology. You can use 
it in the Enhanced Mode which 
writes data to both SSD and HDD 
ie. mirroring and the maximised 
mode, which only writes to the 
cache memory (SSD). 




ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z 

Apart from the SSD, the board 
is quite similar to the Z68AP-D3. 
The build quality of the board is 
quite good with sturdy heatsinks. 
The PCIe slots can be used for SLI 
as well as CrossFire, but one of 
them runs at x8 speed. 

ASUS has the higher-end 
P8Z68-V Pro and P8Z68 Deluxe 
(the highest- end board outside 
the RoG series of boards) in this 
segment. A major difference 
between the two is the absence 
of display ports and presence 
of an extra LAN port, an extra 
eSATA port, a FireWire port 
and a coaxial S/PDIF port on the 
Deluxe. Both the boards support 
dual intelligent processors such 
as EPU (Energy processing Unit) 
and TPU (Turbo V Processing 
Unit). There are dedicated 
switches to activate the EPU 
and TPU processors. While the 
EPU is meant for power saving 
functions, we're more interested 
in the TPU, as that allows you 
to automatically overclock your 
system by hitting 
Start on the Auto- 
Tune function of the 
Turbo VEVO utility 
It's a boon to ama- 
teur overclockers 
and a pleasure to 
watch the system- 
atic auto-tuning. 
But we wonder if it 
interests hardcore 
overclockers? 

Finally, coming to 
the MSI boards, we 



have the Z68A-GD80 (B3) and 
Z68A-GD65 (B3). The GD80 is 
the higher end board of the two, 
sporting dual LAN ports, three 
PCIe xl6 slots, an eSATA port on 
the back 10 panel, better quality 
heat sinks and an extra SATA 
6 Gbps port. Build quality of 
both the boards is superb with 
military class components. The 
standard MSI components such 
as Super Ferrite Chokes (SFC), 
DrMOS (Driver MOSFETs) and 
solid state caps are all present. 

Both boards support SLI and 
CrossFireX. The OC Genie button 
for overclocking-on-the-fly and 
the voltage probe points are inter- 
esting additions for enthusiasts. 
MSI also has the UEFI BIOS 
which will take some time getting 
used to if you're new to such kind 
of BlOSes. MSI Control centre 
is the utility that allows you to 
overclock your system, run it at 
lower power settings with the 
Green Power tab 
and monitor CPU 





ASRock Z68-Extreme7-Gen3 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



93 



Tried & tested 




Cabs of the future 

James Brighton drove the World's first 
RC cabs, a cLassic oLd English Taxi 



Down with the 3DS 

Nintendo dropped the price of 
the 3DS from ^12,400 to ^8,436 




ASUS P8Z68-V Pro 



operation, temperatures and 
voltages among other things. 

ASRock Z68 Extreme? 
Gen3 is the only Gen3 board we 
received which indicates support 
for future Ivy Bridge processors, 
although you can get a present 
generation board to support Ivy 
Bridge with a BIOS update. What 
you won't get however, is PCIe 3.0 
chips, which will be the standard 
for future graphics cards. Giga- 
byte Gl Sniper2 is the only other 
board having PCIe 3.0 support. 
As of now you don't have any card 
which can exploit PCIe 3.0 speeds, 
but makes sense if you want to 
future -proof your system. 

It's packed to the gills with 
features. The 10 SATA ports 
on the board will ensure you 
never run out of space to add 
more drives to your rig. There 
are also enough PCIe slots 
and an NVIDIA NF200 chip 
for you to run a three-way SLI 
setup. If you're using a single 
graphics card, you need to lodge 
it in the second PCIe slot from 
the CPU to get an xl6 speed. 
Build quality is brilliant with 
sturdy heatsinks on the VRMs 
as well as the southbridge, it is 
one great looking board. 

Winners: ASUS P8Z68-V 
Pro won the Best Buy as it offers 
most of the features, seen on the 
higher end P8Z68 Deluxe, at a 
very attractive price. ASRock 
Z68 Extreme? Gen3 was 
awarded the Editor's Pick for 



its plethora of features (which 
are equivalent to the ^20,000 
and up category of boards) and 
connectivity options. Another 
board which we found inter- 
esting even though it's not 
a winner, is the Gigabyte 
Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, specially 
for those who want to exploit 
the Intel RST feature. 

^10,000 to n4,000 

This category has an assortment 
of boards that are quite distinct 
from each other. You get three 
form factors here: ATX, Micro 
ATX and Mini ITX. 

Let's start off with the least 
attractive of the boards, the Intel 
DZ68DB. We call it the least 
interesting because it can't hold 
a candle to the aesthetics, build 
quality and feature set of the 
competing boards. There's a lot of 
free PCB space on the lower side 
making us wonder if it really had 
to be an ATX form factor board. 
Plus, it has a mixture of electro- 
lytic and solid state caps while 
its competitors feature all- solid 
state caps. Pricing for such a basic 
board being ^10,000 just does 
not make any sense. 

ZOTAC Z68ITX A-E is the 
only mini ITX board in this 
category and a very interesting 
one at that. Lodge a high-end 
CPU in it, and the board func- 
tions like any other board. It has 
a decent feature set such as an 
on-board Wi-Fi adapter, POST 



debug LED and a full PCIe xl6 
slot. The back panel lO is flush 
with connectivity options and 
makes for a perfect HTPC board. 
It has dual LAN port, dual HDMI 
ports and 8-channel audio out. 
The only unappealing part is the 
upward pointing SATA ports. 
With a heatsink and all other 
components, the board will be 
densely populated, in this case 
upward pointing SATA ports 
are just not ideal for efficient 
wire management. The ZOTAC 
bundles two Wi-Fi antennas, a 
USB 3.0 bracket, an 8-pin power 
connector to ease the connection 
to the on-board power connector 
and a mini DP-DP adapter. Don't 
expect much in terms of over- 
clocking as there are limited 
options as compared to higher 
end boards. The Mini PCIe 
adapter can also function as an 
mSATA port in case you want to 
add an on-board SSD for RST in 
the future. 

ASUS P8Z68-V and P8Z68- 
V LE belong to the same line 
of boards, but LE is a slightly 
stripped down version of the 
higher end V, which itself is 
slightly low on the specs when 
compared with V Pro and Deluxe. 
The P8Z68-V has an extra PCIe 
slot, much better heat- sinks over 
the VRMs, an extra PCI slot and 
an eSATA port over the P8Z68-V 
LE. The extra PCIe slot is ideal 
for gamers who want dual GPU 
RamiuR as it allows an x8/x8 con- 



figuration as opposed to xl6/x4 
ontheP8Z68-VLE. 

The other ASUS board in 
this segment is the RoG Max- 
imus IV Gene Z. It comes in the 
micro ATX form factor and to 
have a RoG feature set in this 
form factor is quite impressive. 
It lacks features such as RoG iDi- 
rect, RC Bluetooth, PCIe switches 
and USB BIOS Flashback, but 
for the price point, it's packed 
with quite a lot of features such 
as RoG Connect, Probelt and 
SupremeFX X-Fi2 audio solution 
among others. There's a POST 
debug LED and an HDMI out. 
Build quality is similar to the 
higher end RoG board with 
sturdy heatsinks. Gamers can 
game with a single xl6 or a dual 
x8/x8 configuration. We would 
have liked to see more USB 3.0 
ports on the back panel though. 
Overclocking options are easily 
accessible thanks to the well 
designed ASUS UEFI BIOS. So 
in a way, those who can't afford 
the higher end Extreme Z (which 
is overkill for most regular users) 
but still want the RoG feature set 
and dual GPU gaming, the Gene 
Z makes for a great choice. 

Coming to the MSI Z68MA- 
ED55 (B3) board, you get a well 
laid out board with the Military 
Class II branding on the sturdy 
heatsinks. Beside the OC Genie 
button you have a little buzzer 
speaker and probe points to check 
voltages manually usin^ the con- 




ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z 



94 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 




Touch the world! 

Microsoft Launches technoLogy which 
can turn any surface into a touchscreen 
http://cnet.co/mQgZL3 



Empower yourself 



Researchers have deveLoped biofueL ceLLs that can use 
our own body's glucose to generate electricity. 
http://cnet.co/qSJbtR 



Motherboards Test 



Contact sheet 


Brand 


Company 


Phone no 


E-mail 


Website 


^sRock 


Jupiter International 


+91-9830031901 


info(a)asrock.conn.tw ^^^| 


www.asrock.com ^^^^| 


ASUS 


ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd. 


18002090365 


reachus@asus.com 


www.asus.in 


f"Biostar 


Abacus Peripherals Pvt.Ltd. 


1800 22 1988 


enquiry@abacusperipherals.com 


www.abacusperipherals.com 


ECS 


Rashi Peripherals Pvt Ltd 


91 22 4047 0828 


response@rptechindia.com 


www.reptechindia.com 


Gigabyte 


GIGABYTE Technology India 
Pvt. Ltd. 


91-22-40633218 


anilkumarr@gigabyte.in ^HHI 


1 www.gigabyte.in ^^^^H 


Intel 


Intel 


080-28542105 


sasupport@mailbox.intel.com 


www.intel.com 






1800 200000 4 


marketingindia@msi.com 


http://in.msi.com ^^^^| 


Zotac 


Neoteric Informatique Ltd. 


+91-9891282522 


tarun.kalra@neoteric.co.in 


www.zotac.com 



nectors bundled along with the 
board. It only supports CrossFire 
atx8/x8 configuration. The BIOS 
menu of the MSI board is quite 
attractive to look at. If you leave 
aside the proprietary RoG fea- 
tures, this board is comparable 
to the Maximus IV Gene Z. There 
are more display ports (DVI and 
VGA) on the MSI board. Pricing 
wise the ASUS board is ?400 
cheaper, so it's anyone's guess 
which is a better option. 

If you plan to use graphics 
cards on all the slots then you'll 
lose access to USB headers and 
power/reset buttons in the MSI 
Z68MA ED55 board and in the 
ASUS P8Z68-V board as a dual 
slot card will cover these ports. 

Winner: ASUS Maximus IV 
Gene Z was awarded the Best Buy 
for the simple reason that you're 
getting all the goodness of a high 
end gaming board in a micro 
ATX form factor. The pricing may 
seem high for a micro ATX board, 
but if you do plan to pursue 
gaming or overclocking, there is 
no better choice in this range. For 
normal users, the ASUS P8Z68 V- 
LE makes sense. 



Under aO,000 

We got just four sub ^10,000 
boards here, including the 
Biostar TZ68K+, Gigabyte 
Z68AP D3, ASRock Z68 
Extremes Gen3 and ASUS 
P8Z68-M Pro, which shows that 
Z68 boards aren't cheap. 



can't add more USB 3.0 ports, 
which is just sad. The UEFI 
BIOS of Biostar board is quite 
easy to operate although it's 
not as good looking as the one 
found on ASUS or MSI boards. 
A very interesting addition to 
the Biostar board is the BIO- 



NOVEMBER 2011 




ASRock Z68 Extremes GenS 



Biostar TZ68K+ makes for a 
good entry-level Z68 mother- 
board but the surprisingly lim- 
ited connectivity options on the 
back panel I/O will leave many 
of you disappointed. There 
are only two USB ports on the 
back panel and the absence of a 
USB 3.0 header means that you 



Remote 2, which is basically an 
Android and iPhone applica- 
tion that lets you control your 
PC with your cellphone. You 
can use your phone as a remote 
control, as a mouse, to overclock 
your system or update the BIOS 
of your system remotely. Quite 
impressive at sub-?10,000. 



ASUS P8Z68-M Pro is a 
compact board with as many 
as five USB 2.0 headers, five 
SATA ports and features such 
as iGPU Boost (which over- 
clocks the integrated GPU with 
an on-board switch) and MemOK 
button. Although there are two 
PCIe xl6 slots, only one of them 
is true xl6 whereas the other is 
locked to run at x4. The heatsink 
quality is strictly OK as com- 
pared to ones seen on higher end 
boards, but it's much better than 
the Biostar one. 

Gigabyte Z68AP D3 includes 
a unique feature in the form of 
an mSATA connector on which 
you can lodge a solid state drive. 
Another aspect that stands out 
on this board is the presence 
of serial and parallel ports on 
the back panel lO. Now these 
ports are rarely used in a home 
environment, so it makes us 
wonder if Gigabyte is targeting 
this board at SOHO set-ups. But 
the presence of an HDMI port 
is reassuring. The mSATA con- 
nector allows you to populate the 
board with your choice of SSD. 
Setting up the Rapid Storage 
Transport technology using 
Gigabyte's EZ Smart Response 
utility is a breeze. Don't expect 
extreme levels of overclocking 
on this board though. 

The build quality of the Giga- 
byte and ASUS boards is better 
than the Biostar boards. 

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 
Gen3 has good styling, which 
reminds you of its elder brother 




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ASUS has started a "swap" service 
for its UAE customers where they can 
swap defective parts 



- the Extreme?. The heatsinks 
are quite sturdy and it houses 
a POST debug LED as well as 
power/reset switches for over- 
clockers. However, it has fewer 
SATA ports, USB 3.0 ports and 
one less LAN port as compared to 
the Extreme?. Still, for its pricing, 
the board is quite feature-rich. 
Build quality is great, it uses solid 
state caps and has a UEFI BIOS. 
It lacks a USB 3.0 header, but no 
other board in this category has 
it either. One interesting aspect is 
that it has a provision for coolers 
of both, the Socket LGA 1155 as 
well as the LGA 775, there's a 
very thin gap between them, be 
extra careful while installing a 
high- end cooler. 

Winner: ASRock proved its 
mettle yet again, when it bagged 
the Best Buy award for ASRock 
Z68 Extreme3 Gen3. 

A75 boards 

AMD introduced its Fusion 
desktop APU in the form of 
Llano and along with it, the A75 
chipset-based motherboards. The 
A75 chipset supports 10 USB 2.0 
ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 1.1 
ports (we think it's a waste) and 
4 PCIe Gen 2 slots among other 
things. The boards based on this 
chipset are priced economically 
as the APU that we used (A8- 
3850) is targetted at mainstream 
users. The quad core Llano APU 
houses the AMD HD 6550D GPU, 
which is based on the Redwood 
architecture and has 400 stream 
processing units. 



itive as far as the A75 boards is 
concerned, as performance is a 
function of the components being 
used. Culling the best mother- 
boards for the price is quite a task 

Let's start off with ASUS as 
it sent the maximum number 
of boards, namely: F1A75-M 
LE, F1A75M, Fl A75M Pro and 
F1A75 V Pro. As is obvious from 
the naming convention, the LE 
is a lower-end board, whereas 
the Pro boards are high-end. All 
the boards except the F1A75-V 
Pro have micro ATX form factor. 
Apart from that, the V Pro has 
an additional SATA 6 Gbps 
port, more PCI and PCIe xl slots, 
an eSATA port and a Display- 
Port on the back 10 panel and a 
better heatsink with connecting 
heat-pipe. The F1A75 M LE and 
F1A75 M both have only two USB 
3.0 ports. The LE board has only 
two DIMM RAM slots and lacks a 
HDMI port. Its SATA ports point 
upwards not sideways— a big turn 
off for wire management. 

The F1A75-V Pro has better 
heatsinks than other ASUS 
boards; the F1A75M, F1A75M 
LE don't have heatsink over 
the VRMs. 

Biostar TA75A+ is a feature 
-rich board but we would have 
liked to see some more USB 3.0 
ports and a better heat- sink 
design for the south bridge. 
Looking at the layout, one gets 
the feel that this board could have 
been a micro ATX one as 2 PCI 
and 2 PCIe xl slots seem a lot. The 
POST debug LED is a great addi- 




ASRock A75 ExtremeB 



and includes a dedicated sec- 
tion for overclocking, but is not 
as exhaustive or as good looking 
as the MSI or ASUS BIOS. The 
heatsink quality is quite bad. The 
BIO Remote is a nice feature to 
show off to your friends. It allows 
you to control your system, play 
back media files and even over- 
clock over the air using the Bio 
remote app on your iPhone or 
Android device. Thankfully all 
the SATA ports point outwards. 

The ECS A75F-M, is an inter- 
esting board especially consid- 
ering its pricing. The board comes 
in the micro ATX form factor and 
has bare minimum features. Cost 
cutting on the board is evident - 
absence of a dedicated heat sink 
around the VRMs, use of electro- 
lytic capacitors, upward facing 
SATA ports, and two USB 3.0 
drives. It sports a UEFI BIOS 
with both the EZ and Advanced 
mode. The USB 3.0 charger helps 
in charging peripheral devices in 
as many as five states: working, 
standby, suspend to RAM, etc. 

The MSI A75MA-G55, is 
an impressive board having a 
military class certification. So, 
expect rock- solid build quality 
on the board. You get the option 
to overclock the processor as well 
as the integrated graphics in an 
incremental manner. Of the six 
SATA ports on board, two of 
them point upward, which can be 
problematic if you want to install 
a graphics card in the second slot. 

Gigabyte had three boards 
competing in this category: 
A75M-D2H, A75M-UD2H and 
A75-D3H. The A75M-D2H is 
an entry- level board with only 
two RAM slots and two USB 3.0 
ports. The UD2H has four DIMM 
slots but a much more populated 
back 10 panel, which includes an 
eSATA port as well as a Fire Wire 
port. All the display ports such 
as HDMI, DVI, VGA and DP 
are present on the UD2H. Both, 
the D2H and UD2H are micro 



ATX form factor boards. The 
A75-D3H is an ATX form factor 
board having all four USB 3.0 
ports on the back 10 panel and an 
option to add two more with the 
USB 3.0 header. Three PCI slots 
do seem like a lot and the second 
PCIe xl6 slot runs at x4 speed. A 
heatsink around the VRM region 
is absent and there is one SATA 
port pointing upwards. All the 
Gigabyte boards feature the pro- 
prietary DualBIOS chips which 
allows you to maintain a backup 
of the last stable BIOS on one 
chip, while you tweak the active 
BIOS. Gigabyte BIOS is still the 
old generation one and it's a real 
pity to have such good boards 
anf not have them running the 
latest UEFI BIOS. 

ASRock sent us two boards, 
theA75 Extreme 6 and A75 
Pro4-M. The former is it's flagship 
A75 board and the latter is a mid- 
range board. The Extreme 6 comes 
with good features including eight 
SATA 3 ports, POST debug LED, 
start/reset buttons and three PCIe 
slots among other things. Build 
quality is very sturdy. The Pro4-M 
is the lower- end model with no 
USB 3.0 header, two less USB 3.0 
ports and SATA ports pointing 
upwards (which we know by 
now is not desirable). Both these 
boards support the UEFI BIOS. 

Winner: In case of the A75 
boards the pricing was very close, 
so we decided to just award one 
board. ASRock A75 Extreme 6 
won the Best Buy award. Its fea- 
tures were neck-to-neck with 
the ASUS F1A75 V Pro, but the 
Extreme 6 had better build quality, 
dedicated power/reset buttons 
and a slightly better board layout. 
Also, features such as a dedicated 
power/reset button and a POST 
debug LED gave the Extreme 6 a 
push in the right direction. 

If you don't intend to spend 
that much, you can go for the ECS 
A75F-M. The other good board 
is the Gigabyte A75M-UD2H. H 



96 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



Google Earth fights Typhoid 

GoogLe Earth helps researchers to reveal Typhoid outbreak 
secrets in places where health worl<ers are restricted 
http://bit.ly/pNYqMo 



LG to catch up on rivals 

LG ELECTRONICS have announced the 
arrivals of ultra high speed Smartphone 
base on 4G wireless technology 



HD Media Players Test 




m 


13 




mm 




Aniruddh Subramanian 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 



Get ready to abate your thirst 

for HD content. We have an 

HD media player for each 

one of you, read on to find 

which one you should pick. 





An HD media player 
upscales your media 
content to 1080p but 
while doing so it doesn't add 
any detail to the video, rather 
it works to remove the artifacts 
that become visible when the 
image is resized. 

Ultra-compact 

Four players fought it out in 
this category, one each from 
Amkette, ASUS, Buffalo and 
iOmega. 

Build and design 

Cased with an aluminum exte- 
rior, the iOmega Screenplay TV 
Link MX player completely stood 
out in terms of build quality, 
whilst Amekette Flash TV HD 
and ASUS O! Play Mini both 
have very plasticky build quality 
and felt hollow. The Amkette 
Flash TV HD has a unique disc 
shaped form factor. The Buffalo 
Link Theatre has a good sturdy 
build but is encased with a glossy 
exterior which makes it smudge 
and scratch prone. 



User interface 

The UI on the O! Play Mini is 
very straightforward and simple 
to use, but looks outdated. Dis- 
appointingly the player lacks 
a search option. The UI on the 
iOmega is no different, simple 
but boring. The iOmega further 
fails to automatically compile 
all the data under each media, 
lacks jump to next tack option 
for music and the "Go To" fea- 
ture that allows you to jump to a 
specific part of the video. On the 
other hand, the Amkette Flash 
TV HD despite having a simple 
UI, it automatically complies all 
the media in each section and 
has a search option. The Buffalo 

\tESfB 




Amkette Flash TV HD 



Link Theatre has the least visu- 
ally appealing UI. This makes it 
difficult to use but it still gives a 
zippy performance. 

Remote 

All the media players come 
with very basic remotes. The 
Amkette media player's remote 
is sleek and compact but has a 
plasticky build, the cost cutting 
is very evident. The iOmega 
has the best remote of the lot in 
terms of build quality and key 
response. The remote bundled 
with Buffalo Link Theatre has a 
decent built quality and a good 
key response. 

Performance 

The Amkette and iOmega 
delivered poor performance 
with darker scenes, while the 
ASUS did comparatively 
better. Amkette and iOmega 
managed to give crisp and 
sharp images while ASUS 
lagged behind. The Buffalo 
managed to deliver high 
quality upscaling. Overall 



we don't have any complaints, 
at this price point it's really 
amazing how these compact 
players deliver good upscaling. 

Winner 

With decent upscaling perform- 
ance, a plethora of format sup- 
port, while being easy on your 
pocket we award Amekette 
Flash TV HD the best buy 

Mid-range 

There were seven contenders in 
this price bracket. We received 
four players from ASUS and 
one each from iOmega, Seagate 
and WD. 

Build and design 

ASUS O! Play HDP Rl and ASUS 
O! Play Air have an almost iden- 
tical design, a book shaped form 
factor. Both the players have a 
sturdy build quality. Both have 
a glossy side strip that is prone 
to fingerprints and scratches. 
The ASUS HD 2 has a firm 
build but has a very odd design 
with a glossy sheet on the top. 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 



97 




NOVEMBER 2011 




Brand 

Model 

Actual Price (?) 

Price with 1TB (?) 

Connectivity (On 100) 

File format support (On 100) 

Performance (On 100) 

Build Quality (On 100) 

Grand Total (Out of 100) 

Connectivity and Storage 

CF/SD/MMC/MS/MS-Duo 

USB 2.0/USB 3.0/eSata 

Ethernet/Wi-Fi 

DLNA Support 

HDMI/HDMI 1.4a 

Component output/Analog A/V output 

Optical/Coaxial 

Form Factor 

Capacity 

NAS support 

Max Resolution Supported 

File format support 

AVI/MKV/FLV/MOV 

DAT/IS0/IVIP4/MPG 

RMVB/VOB/WMV 

H.264/H.264 level 4.1/x.264/DivX/AVC 

VC-1/WMV9/MPEG/XVID 

MP3/AAC/|V|4a/0GG 

WMA/RMVB/AC3 

SRT/SUB/SJVII 

SSA/ASS/TXT 

Picture Formats Support | 

BJVIP/GIF/JPEG/PNG/TIFF 

System ^^^^^^^^| 

FAT 32/NTFS 

Web Features ^^^^^^^^^ 

No. of Feeds 

YouTube/Picassa/Flickr/Facebook/Twitter 
iperformance ^^^^ J 

USB read tim 
HDD read tim 
Startup time 
Movie load tir 
Forward/Rev\i 
Seeking 
AVI 480p 
MKV (720p) 
MKV (lOBOp) 

Video skipping (480p/720p/1080p) 
Miscellaneous 



Imkette 

Flash TV HD 
Media Player 

3,995 

7,495 

34 

88 

65.39 

61.5 

56.83 

N/Y/Y/Y/N 

Y/Y/Y 

N/N 

No 

Y/N 

Y/N 

N/Y 

NA 

NA 

No 



ASUS 

0! Play Mini 

4,165 

7,665 

35 

80 

66.19 

60 

55.58 

N/Y/Y/Y/N 

Y/N/Y 

N/N 

No 

Y/N 

N/Y 

Y/N 

NA 

NA 

No 

1080p 



NOVEMBER 2011 

ASUS 

0! Play HDP -Rl 



NOVEMBER 2011 

Buffalo 

Linl< Theatre 





4,999 
8,499 



28 


37 ^^^^^^M 


^"B^^ 




75 


^^^^^B 



N/N/N/N/l 
Y/N/N 

Y/N 

No 

Y/N 

N/Y 

Y/N 

NA 

NA 

Yes 

1080p 




ItN/N/N/N 

Y/N/N 

Y/N 

Yes 

Y/NA 

N/Y 

Y/Y 

NA 

NA 

No 

1080p 



N/N/N/N/N 
Y/N/N 

N/N 

No 

Y/NA 

N/Y 

N/Y 

NA 

NA 

No 

1080p 



N/N/N/N/N 
Y/N/N 

N/N 
Yes 
Y/N 
Y/Y 
Y/N 
NA 
NA 
NA 
1080p 



Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y/N 


N/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y/N 


Y/N/N/N/N 


Y/N/N/N/N 


Y/N/Y/N/N 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/N/N 


N/N/Y 


N/N/Y 


Y/N/Y 


Y/N/Y 


Y/N/N 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


NA/NA/NA 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y 


NA/NA/NA 


Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/Y 



Y/Y 



NA/Y 



Y/Y 



NA/Y 



NA 
NA 



NA 
NA 



8 
N/Y/Y/Y/N 



NA 
NA 



NA 
NA 



Y/N/Y/N/N 



USB read time (sec) 


23.52 


13 


10.52 


9 


11.32 


7 


HDD read time (sec) 


99.5 


32.03 


13.2 


11.96 


10 


8 


Startup time (sec) 


13.2 


11.85 


10.37 


26.54 


18.4 


35.42 


Movie load time (sec) 


4.7 


3.9 


3 


5.83 


3.68 


4 


Forward/Rewind Speed 


32x 


32x 


32x 


32x 


8x 


16x 


Seeking 


7.5 


7 


8 


7 


5 


6 


AVI 480p 


6 


6 


6.875 


6.5 


5.625 


5.875 


MKV (720p) 


6.875 


6 


6.575 


6.625 


7 


5.75 



5.75 
No 



6.25 
No 



6.675 
No 



6.25 
No 



No 



5.75 
No 



Bundled Cables 


Component Cable, 
Power Adapter 


Composite, 
HDMI, Power 


Power 




Composite 
Cable, Power 


Composite, 
Analog 


Power 


Dimensions (W x D x H)(mm) 


120 X 120 X 18mm 


151.85 
X 29.03 


X 106.7 
mm 


181 X 125.3 > 
mm 


(47.7 


146 X 
mm 


35 X 122 


110 X 103 X 20 
mm 


NA 


Weight (Kg) 


NA 


175 g 




491 g 




320 g 




177 g 


NA 






Body 


6.5 


6 




7 




7 




8 


6 


Remote 


5 


6 




6 




7 




7 


6 


Remote Buttons 


7 


6 




5.5 




6 




7 


6 


Player Setup 


8 


8 




8 




8 




8 


8 


Remote Usage 


7 


6 




6 




6 




7 


5 





98 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 




NOVEMBER 2011 



Seagate 

Go Flex TV 



iOmega 



iOmega 

Screenplay MX 1TB 



TV Live Hub 
1TB 



Y/Y/Y/Y 

Y/N/Y/Y 

Y/Y/Y 

Y/N/N/Y/N 

Y/N/Y/Y 

Y/Y/N/Y 

N/Y/Y 

Y/Y/Y 

Y/N/Y 



Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/Y/N/N 


N/Y/Y/N 


N/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/N/N/N 


Y/N/N/N/NA 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


N/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/N/Y 


N/Y/Y 


Y/N/N 


Y/N/Y 


Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y 


Y/N/Y 


N/N/N 


Y/N/N 


Y/N/Y 



ASUS 

0! Play 
Gallery 




iOmega 

ScreenPlay 
DXITB 

12,999 

12,999 

63.2 

86 

63.13 

73 

70.99 



N/N/N/N/N 
Y/N/N 

Y/N 

Yes 

Y/NA 

Y/Y 

Y/Y 

3.5 inch 

1TB 

No 

1080p 



Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


N/Y/Y/N 


N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/N/N/N 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/N/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/N/N 


N/N/Y 


Y/N/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/N 


Y/N/Y 


Y/N/N 



Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


_ 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y/Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 




Y/Y 


NA/Y 


Y/Y 


Y/Y 


NA 


11 


8 


9 


21 




NA 


9 


6 


20 


NA 


Y/Y/Y/Y/N 


N/Y/Y/N/N 


Y/Y/Y/N/N 


Y/Y/Y/Y/Y 




NA 


Y/N/Y/Y/N 


Y/Y/Y/N/N 


Y/Y/Y/Y/Y 




!■ 








m 




» 




i^^L 


9.17 


14 


23.97 


43.2 


4.42 




7 


30.41 


9.3 


8.42 


13.56 


30.12 


19.52 


55.7 


9.38 




8.26 


31.35 


9.52 


11.71 


17.88 


25.23 


16.6 


23 


43.09 




51.48 


58.26 


35 


44.42 


5.72 


6.32 


3 


7.57 


3.71 




5.52 


4.52 


4 


5.55 


32x 


32x 


32x 


32x 


32x 




8x 


16x 


32x 


32x 


7 


8 


6 


6 


5 




5 


8 


5 


5.5 


5.75 


6.5 


5.75 


5.75 


6 




5.875 


6.75 


6.25 


6.125 


5.875 


7.25 


5.5 


5.25 


5.75 




6.25 


7.875 


6 


6.25 


6.5 


7.25 


5.625 


5.75 


5.875 




5.75 


7.5 


6.5 


6.125 


No 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 




N/N/N 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 


N/N/N 


Power 


HDMI 


Analog cable, 
Component 


Composite, 
Component 


Composite 
HDMI 




USB A to B, Power 
Cable 


■i 

Power 


HDMI, Power, 
iPod Conn 


Wi-Fi Adapter, 
USB A to B 


181 X 125.3 X 47.7 
mm 


151.85 X 106.7 
X 29.03 mm 


230 X 178 X 
60.5 mm 


110 X 150 X 42 
mm 


175 X 110 > 
30mm 




177 x133 x41mm 


NA 


230 X 178 X 
60.5 mm 


203 X 156 X 47 
mm 



479 g 



175 g 



730 g 



304 g 



295 g 



998 g 



NA 



720 g 



1027 g 



^^^^ ^^ 


^ 7.5 


7 


7 


7.5 


8 


8 


7 


8 


6 


6.5 


6.5 


6 


7 


7.5 


7 


6.5 


7 


5.5 


5.5 


6 


6 


6 


7 


6.5 


6.5 


6 


8 


8 


8 


7 


8 


8 


8 


8 


8 


6 


7 


6 


6 


7 


7 


7 


7 


7 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



99 



Tried & tested 



DivX HD enabled Blu-ray Player 

Rovi and ASUS are working to Launch DivX HD- 
enabLed BLu-Ray devices 



Student's experiment in space 

YouTube, Lenovo and NASA liave come togetiner to Launcii 
Youtube Space Lab for students between 14 to 18 years 



which is very dust,scratch and 
fingerprint prone. As a conso- 
lation the front panel runs a 
LED strip which makes it a bit 
attractive and the bottom opens 
to house a 3.5-inch HDD. The 
ASUS O! Play Mini Plus has the 
same form factor and built as its 
predecessor the O! Play Mini, 
but this time with a very jazzy 
honeycomb like design on the 
top surface. The iOmega Screen- 
Play TV Link Dx has a rectan- 




ASUS 0! PLay HDP Rl 



gular form factor with eye- 
catching curves and decent built 
quality, but it too has a glossy 
exterior that picks up smudges 
and scratches. The Seagate Go 
Flex TV and WD Live TV are the 
compact form factor players of 
the lot. While both have durable 
build, the Seagate breaks the 
cliche by having a matte exte- 
rior. Seagate's front panel opens 
to house a 2.5-inch HDD, but the 
housing is well disguised. 

Remote 

iOmega stands out with its 
QWERTY keypad packed 
remote design. Though it 



requires you to use both your 
hands to operate it, it helps make 
typing easy during searches or 
web browsing. What it lacks 
is a good key response and we 
would have liked if the keys 
were a bit bigger. The left D-pad 
which controls the fast for- 
warding/rewinding was a tad 
bit sensitive, which resulted in 
over fast forwarding/rewinding. 
The ASUS HDP Rl and Air 
both get identical remotes. It 
is very comfortable to hold 
and is well built. The key feed- 
back is also quite good. 
What we find amusing 
is only music media 
finds a dedicated key on 
remote. The ASUS HD2 
and Mini Plus both get 
remotes with identical 
form factor, what dif- 
fers is the placement, 
shape, size and count of 
keys. Mini Plus also gets 
an one touch Facebook share 
option and four colour keys for 
accessing media. Both remotes 
have a durable build and pro- 
vide adequate key feedback. 

User interface 

The ASUS HDP Rl and Air 
both run on the same UI, it is 
a simple and easy to use inter- 
face. It segregates files according 
to the type of media it belongs 
to. It has a UI which imitates a 
File Explorer for mapping con- 
nected devices(viz. Pendrive, 
HDD), which makes it difficult 
to search for a particular file 
incase you have a huge collec- 



Contact sheet 


Brand 


Phone no 


E-mail 


Website 


WD 


+91 9769 9551 75 


AniLKukreja@wdc.com 


www.wdc.com 


Amkette 


+91112638 9876 


info@amkette.com 


www.amkette.com 


Iomega 


+1800 180 2237 


indiasaLes@iomega.com 


www.iomega.com 


Seagate 


+91 11 2641 4468 


SaLes@fortune-it.com 


www.seagate.com 


ASUS 


+1800 209 0365 


reacLius@ASUS.com 


www.ASUS.in 


Buffalo 


+91 11 4153 8059 


info-india@meLcoinc.co.jp 


www.buffaLotecLi.com 


ASUS 


+18002090365 


reachius@ASUS.com 


www.ASUS.in 


AsRock 


+91-9830031901 


info@asrock.com.tw 


www.asrock.com 



tion. The HD 2 on the other 
hand gets the upgrade from its 
previous UI and gets a different 
look. The UI now looks much 
better, more importantly the 
device now catalogs all kinds of 
media as opposed to cataloging 
only music media. The WD TV 
Live Hub has the best UI, it is 
very rich in terms of looks and 
is extremely easy to use. The 
iOmega has a XMB style UI, 
which is extremely easy to use 
but the aesthetics are not meant 
to impress. 

Performance 

The ASUS HDP Rl completely 
blew us away with its perform- 
ance in terms of sharpness and 
detailing but disappointed us 
with its colour reproduction 
and it failed in playing certain 
.flv files even though it claimed 
to support the format. On the 
other hand the ASUS Air gave 
good colour reproduction but 
lacked sharpness and crispness. 
The WD Live TV and iOmega 
Link DX delivered decent per- 
formance with upconverting of 
files but lacked at certain places. 
The HD 2 delivered a poor per- 
formance, we noticed a lot of 
noise and colour banding even 
after upscaling. It also failed to 
recognise a few of the .flv files 
we tried during the test. Of the 
lot the ASUS O! Play Mini Plus 
delivered good overall perform- 
ance. We faced a lot of prob- 
lems with the Seagate Go Flex 
TV viz. if the player was left 
idle for a while, it hanged. The 
rewind was at times 
faulty with the video 
directly going back to 
the starting point. 

Winner 

For its excellent 
upscaling ability, crisp 
and sharp videos and 
topping our perform- 
ance charts the ASUS 



O ! Play HDP Rl won the Best Per- 
former. Further, for being offered 
at a very competitive price it also 
wins our Best Buy award. 

High-end 

We had four players in this cat- 
egory. We received two devices 
from iOmega and one each from 
ASUS and Western Digital. 

Build and design 

The WD TV Live Hub media 
center comes as an update to 
the WD Live TV and sports a 
slimmer form factor and isn't 
quite heavy inspite of the pres- 
ence of a 1 TB HDD. The device is 
extremely well built and sturdy. 
The player has a metallic matte 
finish on the top, whilst a glossy 
strip runs on the sides. The 
ASUS O! Play Gallery entirely 
borrows its design and built 
from the ASUS HD 2, while 
adding iPod and iPhone con- 
nectivity. It too houses a 3.5 
inch HDD slot at the bottom. 
iOmega Screenplay DX 1 TB 
is an oversized version of the 
iOmega TV link DX with an 
inbuilt 1 TB HDD. The 1 TB HDD 
makes the media player quite 
bulky. The device is absolutely 
rock solid in terms of its build. 
On the other hand, the iOmega 
Screenplay MX 1 TB looks like 
a super-sized iOmega TV link 
Mx with a few more curves. It 
also gets an inbuilt 1 TB HDD, 
which makes it quite bulky. The 
Screen Play MX too is cased in 
an aluminum exterior and by far 
has the best build quality. 

Remote 

The remote bundled with WD 
Live TV Hub is well built and 
gives adequate key feedback. 
The remote comes with four 
colour keys that can be custom- 
ised to access certain media. The 
iOmega Screenplay MX gets the 
same remote as the iOmega TV 
link MX. Though the remote is 



100 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tLiinkdigit.com 



Easy music for lOS mobiles 

Sonma Guitar jack 2 for lOS device Lets you connect any 
instrument witii ease and even lieLp you record songs 
http://bit.ly/mSvpGq 



TAG Heuer Chronograph 

It works witii tlie concept of Mikrotimer Flyings lOOO'swatcli 
movement tliat runs at 500 Hz. It lias a precession of 3.6 
millions beats eacln Incur and cost's ?5, 045, 680 



HD Media Players Test 




iOmega Screenplay DX 1TB 



extremely easy to use and well 
built, but its disappointing to 
find that a high end player has 
the same remote as a basic 
player. The iOmega Screenplay 
DX 1 TB gets the same remote 
as the iOmega Link TV DX, 
which means you get the same 
QWERTY keypad remote. The 
ASUS O! Play Gallery gets a 
remote with click-wheel. The 
click wheel helps in easier 
navigation but is not very accu- 
rate. The keys have good key 
response. We only wish the keys 
were better placed. 

User interface 

The biggest improvement in WD 
TV Live Hub comes in the form 
of the UI it runs on, "Mochi". 
This UI was hands down, the 
best among all the players we 
tested. The navigation was 
effortless and very easy to use. 
Further, the UI is also custom- 
isable (background, animation 
theme etc.). The UI also lets you 
customise the way your content 
should be displayed (thumbnail, 
list, previews etc.). The UI on 
the iOmega Screenplay MX 1 TB 
compared to the WD TV Live 
hub is a bit unspiring. Its simple 
but feels drab. The iOmega 
Screenplay DX runs the same 
UI as the Link DX, which means 



^^^^B 


^^^^^^1 


Connectivity 


ASUS 0! Play Gallery 


File Format 
Support 


Amkette Flash TV HD 


Web Features 


Screenplay TV Link Dx 


Performance 


ASUS 0! Play HDP Rl 


Build Quality 


Screenplay MX 1 TB 


Ease of Use 


WD Live TV Hub 1 TB 



it gets the same XMB 
style interface, which 
is quite easy to use 
but completely lacks 
in aesthetics. Finally, 
the ASUS O! Play 
Gallery gets the same 
UI as the HD2. 



Performance 

Performance wise WD TV 
Live hub did an excellent job of 
upscaling the videos. It deliv- 
ered excellent colour reproduc- 
tion and sharpness though we 
spotted minimal noise at certain 
times. The only factor that disap- 
pointed us was no inbuilt Wi-Fi. 
The iOmega Screenplay MX 
1TB delivered poor performance 
with darker scenes, there was 
a lot of unwanted noise, basi- 
cally the performance was not 
up to the mark. Apart from the 
poor dark scene reproduction 
the player doesn't give you the 
option to jump to the next track. 
We had very little to complain 
with the performance of iOmega 
Screenplay DX. It delivered good 
upscaling. The ASUS O! Play Gal- 
lery delievers very good perform- 
ance while upscaling videos, it 
really managed to pump out good 
sharp and vivid videos and we 
only wish this performance was 
just a notch higher. 

Winner 

With a very sturdy build, an 
inbuilt 1TB HDD and with a 
decent performance the iOmega 
Screenplay MX 1 TB wiggled 
through as the Best Buy. For 
performance and ease of use we 
suggest you to have a look at the 
WD Live TV Hub 1 TB. 

Editor's Pick 

For delivering good upscaling per- 
formance, innovative QWERTY 
remote, great file format support 
and excellent build quality the 
Editor's pick goes to the iOmega 
Screenplay DXlTB.n 



HOW WE TESTED 



The nnost innportant feature of an 
HD nnedia pLayer is the ability to 
pLay anything you throw at it, to 
upscale the videos and give you 
a better video viewing experi- 
ence. We gave more importance 
to the upscaling performance of 
the pLayer, foLLowed by the fea- 
tures it touted. We connected 
the HD media pLayers to a fuLL 
HD ALienware 21-inch monitor 
via HDMI. Monitors give us the 
ability to Look cLoseLy at pixels to 
determine upscaling quality. We 
had three test videos, one each 
of .avi(480p), .mkv(720p) and 
.mov(1080p). We shortlisted four 
scenes from each of the videos 
equally distributed between dark 
scenes, colourful and vivid scenes, 
bright scenes and detail driven 



scenes. We then looked how each 
of these players fared at delivering 
each of these scenes and points 
were accordingly awarded. 

Further, we also rated the 
players with its overall ease of use 
viz. UI, remote, setting it up etc. We 
noted the time the players took to 
boot up, read a USB stick and read 
an HDD. We allotted weightage to 
each of these features. We also 
considered the build quality of both 
the player and the remote. An HD 
media player is incomplete without 
an HDD, thus for the final results 
we added the cost of the cheapest 
supported 1 TB HDD for each of 
the media players that didn't have 
one. This price was the one we 
used to calculate the Best Buy 
awards for each category. 



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Tried & tested 



Did you know? 

Mouse can measure stress Levels with the help 
of puLse wave sensor which measures the bLood 
flow in the fingertip 




Self Driving cars 

SeLf driving car which is driven 
by computer and navigation is 
done by satellite navigation. 



Anirudh Regidi, Jait Dixit, 
Mithun Mohandas 

readerletters@thinkdigit. com 



W 



hen it comes 
to PC gaming, 
a lot of things 
change. Game 
engines get upgraded, new 
rendering APIs are developed, 
graphics cards get increasingly 
more powerful, games and 
developers rise and fall from 
favour. Despite all this, one of 



of all sorts of gamers. There is 
no such thing as the ideal key- 
board or mouse. For example, 
Razer conducted some research 
and came to the conclusion that 
most pro-gamers in StarCraft 
2 would prefer a mouse that 
was light weight, used a "claw" 
grip and had a very precise 
click response. The key word 
here is "most". How you play 
depends entirely on you and 
the hardware you choose 
must reflect that. 



nimbly calling the shots from 
your fingertips in sports sim, 
or raising hell in racing games; 
your constant companion is all 
your endeavours is the humble 
keyboard. A discussion about 
which keyboard is the best can 
last for ages. 

In the end it all boils 
down to how you find a 
keyboard and whether it 
suits and is meant for your 
style of play. It's always your call 
at the end of the day. 



I 



A blow-by- 
blow account of 
various gaming 
keyboards and 
mice to help you 
stock-up your 
arsenal 



yAT 

ARMS 



the few things that remain stag- 
nant are the actual peripherals 
you use to play your games on 
the PC. A good quality mouse 
coupled with a good mechan- 
ical keyboard can be an invest- 
ment that will last you a really 
long time. 

As a gamer, you need to be 
very aware of your playing style 
to know what sort of hardware 
you need to purchase. Makers 
of gaming peripherals do their 
utmost to ensure that their 
catalogue to the requirements 



Keeping this in mind, we 
decided not to rate the devices 
we received based on their 
performance and ergonomics. 
Instead we are presenting you 
with all the relevant informa- 
tion you will need to make the 
decision on your own. 

Gaming keyboards 

Whether its strafing around 
and blasting your opponents to 
smithereens in an FPS, befud- 
dling the competition with a 
blitzkrieg in an RTS or an RPG, 



CMStorm 
Quick Fire Rapid 

CM Storm QuickFire Rapid, is 
a product from Cooler Master's 
gaming arm. They come in 4 
flavours. These keyboards are 
compact, thick and heavy, and 
sport detachable cables and 
mechanical keys. 

The lack of a numpad might 
be a downer for those who like 
to record their macros onto it. 
However, the compact profile 
will be a boon for gamers having 
huge gaming mats. 



Zebronics Judwaa 5 

We admit that we were a bit 
skeptical when we saw the 
Judwaa 5 among the test samples 
but we went ahead considering 
it to be a budget gaming combo, 
but it still didn't quite cut it. The 
keyboard is hardlyworth men- 
tioning, the only saving grace is 
the Judwaa mouse which comes 
with a DPI switch that allows 
for a maximum of 800 DPI. 
Overall, a multimedia keyboard 
and variable DPI mouse at ^475 
is not a bad deal. 




Razer Black Widow 

Ultimate Stealth 

Edition 



Razer Black Widow 
ULtimate Stealth Edition 

Razer Black Widow Ultimate 
Stealth Edition is the latest 
entrant in Razers gaming key- 
boards stable. Stealth here is 
attributed to the use of the silent 
Cherry MX Brown in lieu of the 
noisy Cherry MX Blue. Specs 
wise it was one of the best key- 
board to come our way. Only 
downsides which we came 
across was that it does not have 
N-Key Rollover(though anti- 
ghosting sort of makes up for it) 

Razer Starcraft II 
Marauder (bundle) 

This bundle is a part of StarCraft 
II themed gaming accessories 
from Razer. Razer has done 
a very good job of sticking to 
the theme, with laser-etched 
keys that resemble the all-too- 
familiar HUD from the game. 
Built for StarCraft II, the key- 
board and mouse have an inte- 



102 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



I 



Future Doctors 

Panasonic Launches Hospio Rime robot which 
is used for improving communication between 
patient and doctors when either of the are absent 



3D taken to the next level 

With the help of Japanese firm Locks can be 
unLocl<ed with help of hand geusters using 3D 
http://bit.ly/q50E6d 



Gaming Peripherals Test 



grated APM indicator. The 
backlight changes according to 
your current APM. You have 
the option of customising the 
backlight via the included Razer 
software. You can also save mul- 
tiple profiles and have them 
switch on for particular appli- 
cations. One drawback with the 
mouse is that your hand will 
cover up the indicator LEDs 
making them redundant. 

Razer Cyclosa (bundle) 

Cyclosa bundle features the 
Cyclosa keyboard and Abyssus 
mouse. Being sold for a great 
price of ?2,699, this is too good 
of a deal to be missed. The 
Cyclosa is a good keyboard sans 
the luxury features present on 
the more premium designs. 
Ditto the mouse. Design-wise, 
both the keyboard and mouse 
are very simplistic with only 
the keyboard featuring extra 
buttons for gaming. The 
mouse lacks a dpi switch, but 
is fully programmable via 
the bundled software. 

Steelseries 6Gv2 

Steelseries 6Gv2 forgoes all the 
snazzy things and goes back 

KEY TYPES 



to basics. Its has a solid and a 
sturdy build which can be attrib- 
uted to internal metal chassis. 
The keys are laser etched and 
chunky. Some quirks like 
the placement of 
the [\] 




Steelseries 6Gv2 



key next to right 
shift, which takes some time 
getting used to. The absence 
of custom drivers and macros 
work against it. 

Gaming mice 

Choosing the right mouse to 
complement your playing style 
is essential to your success as 
a gamer — especially if you're 
an FPS gamer. Though if you 
only play FPS games and such, 
you wouldn't normally need 
mice with multiple profiles and 
macro keys. A simple mouse 
with switchable DPI should be 
sufficient. However, for people 
who play a lot of RTS games such 
as WoW, macro keys and extra 
programmable buttons is a boon. 



Razer Orochi (Black) 

Despite its diminutive size, this 
mouse is packed to the brim 
with features. With eve- 
rything from a high dpi 
sensor to 4 extra but- 
tons, coupled with 
excellent ergo- 
nomics for a claw 
grip, the mouse is 
excellently designed. 
Its small size means 
it is portable and you 
can use it in bluetooth mode if 
you so desire, but this mode is 
not recommended for gaming. 
The mouse is surprisingly 
comfortable and heavy as well 



HOW TO HOLD YOUR MOUSE? 




%^ 



Razer Orochi 

with the batteries. Overall, a 
very good mouse, but it is 
expensive and only worth con- 
sidering if you really need a 
portable gaming mouse. 



jm. 



Rubber-domed 



PrinnariLy two types of keys are 
found on keyboards these days: 
Rubber-donned and Mechanical. 
Rubber-domed keys are designed 
so that aLL the keyhubs are posi- 
tioned directly above rubber 
domes, which in turn Lie above 
a pLastic membrane that is spread over the entire key- 
board. Whenever the key is fuLLy depressed, a contact 
point at the top of the rubber dome pushes the top 
Layer through a hoLe in the middLe Layer to contact the 
bottom Layer, creating a short circuit which generates 
the keystroke that is then sent to the computer 

WhiLe in case of mechanicaL keys each key has 
its own independent keyswitch mechanism that wiLL 
register a keypress. Depending on the construction 
of the switch, such keyboards have varying response 



and traveL times. Cherry Corporation manufactured 
keys are among the very best avaiLabLe. Most of the 
keyboards featured here use Cherry MX keys, which 
are referred to by the coLor of the stem to which the 
keycap is attached: Cherry MX BLack switches pro- 
vides a Linear feedback. Cherry MX Brown switches 
provides a modicum of feedback as the switch traveLs 
over a physicaL bump as the key hits its actuation 
point. Cherry MX BLue switches provide both a tac- 
tiLe feeL and aLso an audibLe cLick. Cherry MX CLear 

1 switches are simiLar to MX 
Browns, but require more force 
rT"^^ to depress. In the end we have 
|L|^^F Cherry MX Red switches which 
ll|^^V I possess an identicaL construc- 
■t" M tion as MX BLacks but require 

Cherry MX BLue Less force to depress. 




The PaLm Grip _ 

Steelseries XAI 

The bigger brother of the Kinzu, 
the mouse is quite large, but also 
extremely light for its size. In 
fact, it weighs almost the same 
as the Orochi without the bat- 
teries. The LCD display at the 
bottom is a boon for the gamer 
who like to fully customise 
his mouse. Every relevant set- 
ting including dpi, sensitivity, 
smoothing, acceleration, etc. 
can be adjusted via the mouse 
itself and stored in 5 separate 
profiles. Thumb buttons were 
a bit too sensitive and there 
were a lot of misclicks. How- 
ever, the mouse itself is exorbi- 
tantly expensive considering the 
features on offer. 

Coolermaster CM Storm 
Inferno 

A mouse that really looks the 
part. Funky design with a mul- 
titude of programmable keys 
and indicator leds, good ergo- 
nomics along with switchable 
profiles and dpi make this one 
of the most feature-rich mice we 




CMStorm Inferno 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



103 



Keyboards 


Brand 


Cooler Master 


Cooler Master 


Cooler Master 


Zebronics 


Razor 




Model 


QuicliFire Rapid (Blue) 


QuicliFire Rapid (Red) 


QuicliFire Rapid (Black) 


Judwaa 5 (Bundle) 


Black Widow 




Price (?) 


6,500 


5,800 


5,800 


475 


7,299 




Pros 


Compact, Sturdy and 
Cable Management 


Compact, Sturdy and 
Cable Management 


Compact, Sturdy and 
Cable Management 


DPI Switch 


Game Mode, Dedicated 
Macro Keys, USB and 
Audio Headers 




Cons 


NA 


NA 


NA 


Barely a gaming combo 


NA 




Features 


Bundled accessories 


6 extra keys, Keycap tool, 
USB - PS/2 adapter 


6 extra keys. Keycap tool, 
USB - PS/2 adapter 


6 extra keys. Keycap tool, 
USB - PS/2 adapter 


- 


- 




No.of Keys(Normal/ 
Multimedia/Macro) 


88(88/0/0) 


88(88/0/0) 


88(88/0/0) 


111(103/8/0) 


109(104/0/5) 




Rubber pad/|V|echanical 


Mechanical 


Mechanical 


Mechanical 


Rubber Domed 


Mechanical 




Mechanical Type(Cherry 
MX Red/Blue/Black/ 
Brown) 


Blue 


Red 


Black 


NA 


Brown ^^^^| 




Travel Distance(nnnn) 


2.3 


2.3 


2.3 


2.3 


2.1 




Backlit 


N "^^^^^H- 


N 


N 


N 


Y !■ 


- 


Braided Cable (Y/N) 


Y 


Y 


Y 


N 


Y 




Cable Length (Ft.) 


6 


6 


6 


4.5 


7.5 


m 


Polling Frequency (Hz) 


1000 


1000 


1000 


125 


1000 




Custom Drivers (Bundled 
or otherwise) ^ 


N^^^^^^^^ 


^^^^^H 


^^^^ 


N 


Y 




Spill Proof 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 




Dimensions (LxWxD) (in 
mm) 


355x135x35 


355x135x35 


355x135x35 


445x167x22 


475x171x30 ^^M 


^B 


Weight (g) 


940 


940 


940 


550 


1500 




Numpad ^^^^^M 


^^^B 


N 


N 


Y 


^^H 


^^^B 


Windows Key disabled 


Y 


Y 


Y 


N 


Y 




NKRO 


Y/6KR0 in USB 


Y/6KR0inUSB 


Y/6KR0 in USB 


NA 


N/6KR0 in USB 




Anti-Ghosting 


Y 


Y 


Y 


N 


Y 




Cable Management 


Y 


Y fl 


I^^H 


N 


N 




USB Passthrough 


N 


N 


N 


N 


Y 




Audio ports 


N 


^^^M 




N 


Y 




Multi-profile support 


N 


N 


N 


N 


Y 




Warranty (Years) 


2 


V 




^^^B 


1 





Brand 


Razor 


Cooler Master 


Cooler Master 


Cooler Master 


Steelseries 


Steelseries 


Zebronics 




Model 


Orochi Black 


CMStorm Inferno 


CMStorm 
Sentinel Advance 


CMStorm Spawn 


Kinzu 


Xai 


Judwa 5 (bundle^ 


^ 


Price (?) 


4,300 


2,800 


3,300 


2,100 


1,599 


6,999 


350 




Plus (+) 


A good gaming 
mouse 


Completely 
Customizable; 
Good grip 


Extra weights 


Superb design 


Basic Mouse but 
good enough for 
gaming. 


LCD display to 
fully customize 
profile 


Cheap 




Minus (-) 


Extremely 
Compact 


None 


Build Quality 


None 


Extremely basic 


Not as 
comfortable 
as some other 
designs 


Limited to 800dpi 




Features 


Accessories 


Travel pouch 


- 


Skates 


- 


- 


Spare skates 


Dimensions 


99x67.8x35 


120x75x40 


135x83.5x40 


107x75x35 


117x64x36 


125.5x68.3x38.7 102x60x33 


Sensor DPI 


4000 (2000 in 
Wireless Mode) 


500-4000 


200-5600 


800-3500 


400-3200 


100-5001 800 


Type of Sensor 


Laser 


Laser 


Laser 


Optical 


Optical 


Laser Optical 


Weight (Grammes) 


95 / 141 (With 
batteries) 


161 


161.5 


142 


77 


98 NA 


Wired /Wireless 


Both / Bluetooth 


Wired 


Wired 


Wired 


Wired 


Wired Wired 


No. of Buttons / 
Programmable 
Buttons 


7/7 


11/9 


8/8 


7/7 


4/0 


8/4 4/0 


Mouse wheel click 
(Y/N) 


■ 






On the fly DPI 
changing 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y 


Y Y 


Independent X and 
Y axis dpi 


" 1 








N 


^^■_ 


Indicator lights 
(No. of lights) / LCD 


N 


Y(6) 


N/OLED 


N 


Y(l) 


Y (1) / LCD N 


Max Polling rate 
(Hz) 


1000 (125 in 
wireless mode) 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 125 H^^^^l 


Polling rate 
switching without 
driver 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N (125-lOOOHz) 


Y (125-1000) N 


Ambidextrous 1 
(Y/N) 


^^„ 


P V 


^^ 


N 


Y 


Y Y 


Lighting 


Y 


Y 


Y 


N 


N 


Y N 


Cable quality/ 
sheathing 


Braided 


Braided 


Braided 


Braided 


Braided 


Braided ^^W^^^^^^™ 


Cable length (Feet) 


3 


7 


5.5 


6.5 


6.5 


6.5 4.5 


Lift-off (-mm) 


2 


2 


2 


2 


2 


1 NA 


Tracking rate 
(Inches/s) 
Warranty (Years) 


100 

1 ^^^^^M 


115 


253 


60 


50 


150+ NA 



104 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



^^ 


Razer 


Steelseries 


Razer 


^^^^H 


Starcraft 2 


6Gv2 


Cyclosa (Bundle) 




7,499 


8,599 


2,699 




Game Mode 


Build Quality 


Value for Money, Game 
Mode 


^^^ 


Cost 


Cost 


Non-braided cable 




- 


USB to PS2 Adapter 




^^^ 


96(96/0/0) 


103(103/0/0) 


105/0/0 




Rubber Domed 


Mechanical 


Rubber Donned 


B 


^. 


Black 


^^H 




2 


2.2 


3 


^^^^^ 


i 


N 


N 




Y 


N 


N 


^^^^1 


^^^^^^^^ 


6 


6 




1000 


NA 


1000 


^B 


^^^^ 


N ^g 


^^^^ 




Y 


N 


Y 


^B 


400x182x32 


440x144x33 


450 X 167 X 30 




1062 


1170 


920 


^^^^1 


1 


Y 


N 




Y 


Y 


Y 


^B 


Y/6KR0 in USB 


Y/8KR0 in USB 


NA 




Y 


Y 


Y 


^^^^B 


II 


N 


N 




N 


N 


N 


^^f 


N 


N 


N 




Y 


N 


Y 


^^^1 


1 


^^^H 


^^ 



Future weapons 

Toy aeroplanes measuring 5.5ft or more 

capable of flying at over lOOmpli and 

carrying GPS can be used as weapons Gaming Peripherals Test 



^^ 


Razer 


Razer 


Razor 


NZXT 


^ 


Spectre 
(Starcraft 11 
bundle) 


imperator 


Abyssus 
(Cyclosa bundle) 


Avatars 




4,999 


3,150 


1,000 


2,300 




Custom built for 
Starcraft 11 


Well built and 
comfortable 


Superb bundle at 
this price 


Loolis very cool 




LED indicators 
are not visible 
under use; 


None 


Mouse should 
have at least had 
dpi adjustment 


Ergonomics 
disappoint 


^^^ 


_ 


_ 


_ 




^^^^^^ 




100x66x37 


123x71x42 


115x63x40 




129x69x33 




5600 


100-5600 


1800 




400-1600 




Laser 


Laser 


Infra-Red 




Laser 




NA 


180 


NA 




NA 


^v 


Wired 


Wired 


Wired 




Wired 




5/5 


7/7 


3/3 




5/5 


^H^^^H^^^H^^^H^^^^l 




Y 


Y 


N 




N 


B~ 


Y 


N 


N 


~B 


^^^B 




Y(3) 


N 


N 




N 


1 


1000 


1000 


1000 




^^H 




N 


N 


N 




N 


^B 


^ 


N 


Y 




Y 




Y 


Y 


Y 




Y 


■ 


Braided 


Braided ^| 


^B 


^ 


^^^■^ 




7 


6.5 


7 




6.5 


^^^^H 


2 


2 


2 




2 


^ 


200 


200 


60 
1 




30 
2 



Contact slieet 


Brand 


Phone 


Email 


Website 


Razer 


NA 


saslnank.blnandaru@razerzone.com 


www.raz- 
erzone.conn 


Zebronics 


044-40000007 


enquiry@zebronics.info 


www.zebron- 
ics.net 


Steelseries 


011-41324829/30 


roushan@faxtelindia.conn 


www.steel- 
series.conn 


Cooler- 
Master 


011-40525645 


nnarconn_in@coolernnaster.conn 


www.cooler- 
nnaster.in 



encountered. The addition of a 
"MacroPro" key and "Rapid Fire 
Tractical" button to enhance 
your abihty to fire off macros is a 
nice feature. The MacroPro key 
records macros directly on the 
mouse itself and even records 
mouse movement. At a price of 
?2,800, this mouse is a real steal. 

Cooler Master CM Storm 
Sentinel Advance 

A very large mouse, it is 
designed specifically with the 
palm grip in mind. The mouse 
is very comfortable, despite 
looking a bit ungainly. The 
wide base provides good grip 
and the buttons are quite con- 
veniently placed. The button 
to switch profiles is placed at 
the very tip and is a bit hard to 
reach, ensuring that you don't 
hit it by accident. Another 
problem was that switching 
the dpi freezes the mouse for 
a moment. This was, also, 
one of the only mice which 
came bundled with remov- 
able weights. A nice addition 
and a feature definitely worth 
considering as a gamer. 

Cooler Master CM 
Storm Spawn 

The Spawn is a very well-built 
mouse. Ergonomics are spot on, 
if you are looking for a claw grip. 
The rubberized side ensures 
that the mouse doesn't slip, 
and the light weight means it is 
very good for fast-paced games 
such as Quake III. Accuracy was 
spot on as well. Cooler Master 
also claims that they have 
used "Omron" micro switches, 
which are good for 5 million 



clicks, making this mouse 
extremely durable as well. 

SteelSeries Kinzu 

Sporting a design similar to 
the Xai, the Kinzu drops all 
extra buttons and features in 
favour of a DPI switch, leaving 
just a basic mouse with a high 
precision sensor. At this price 
point, considering the features, 
the mouse is a little expensive 
compared to other options 
in this segment, including 
the Razer Abyssus. 

Razer Imperator 

This is quite a large mouse and 
will serve very well for people 
with large hands. The mouse is 
very comfortable in hand and 
the adjustable position of the 
thumb-triggers is a nice addi- 
tion. The mouse itself feels very 
good and well-built. It tracks 
nicely as well. Two switches 
are present for adjusting dpi 
on the fly, the only drawback 
is that in this mouse as well, 
there is a slight pause when the 
mouse freezes to adjust. 

NZXT Avatar S 

A very elongated mouse, the 
Avatar S is NZXT Avatar's 
successor launched 3 years ago. 
The mouse is very narrow and 
a bit angular in some places, 
making it a bit uncomfortable to 
use. Tracking accuracy is good 
but we would have preferred a 
higher dpi setting at the very 
least. The mouse looks very cool 
though and handles well. The 
two extra buttons are a little 
inconvenient to use and a bit 
too sensitive as well. Q 



Digit I Novennber 2011 I www.thinl<digit.conn 



105 



Bazaar 



Opera mini 

Hybrid browser to Lead Opera's charge 
by building Opera Mini into Opera IMobiLe. 
http://cnet.co/2kfeCm 



T 



Lenovo N5902 

For iiome tlieater buffs, Lenovo's Latest multimedia 
keyboard offering ditciies its predecessor's glossy 
black finisii for a matte black one 



Boxee Box media streamer 

Expensive Perfection 




Specifications 

Intel Atom processor 

HD media streamer 

1080p upscale resolution 

2 USB ports 

Memory card slot 

Contact 

D-Link India 

Email: helpdesk(a)dlink.co.in 

Contact: +91-22-27626600 

Price: ?13,999 




Features 8.0 

Performance 7.5 

BuiLd Quality 7.5 

Value for Money 5.5 



The Boxee Box is a part 
HD media player 
and part HD media 
streamer. As one 
device, it attempts to do the 
best of what the WD Live HD 
media player series does and 
also what Apple TV does. And 
it does so while looking very 
unique. One look at the form 
factor, and you know this Box 
will stand out from all the other 
gadgets in your home theatre 
console. However, size-wise, the 
Boxee is much bigger than the 
WD Live, WD Live Hub and the 
puck sized Apple TV. No let up 
in connectivity options— HDMI 
out, optical audio out, two USB 
inputs and a memory card 
slot. No internal storage space 
though, unlike the WD Live 
Hub. An Intel Atom processor 
powers the Boxee and some 
inbuilt storage to install apps 
and save temp files. 

However, that size difference 
can be forgotten the moment 
you see the performance. The 
HD up-scaling quality does 
depend on tweaking the settings 
correctly. In the video settings, 
select De-interlacing policy to 
"never, unless scaling". De- 
ring filter and Gaussian filter 
off. Why we say this is because 
with the two filters switched on, 
we found a bit of noise in both 
HD and SD video content. How- 
ever, with both turned off, the 
picture quality was absolutely 
fantastic. Compared side by side 
to the WD Live with the same 
content, the Boxee was just that 
much better. What also helps 
is the fact that the colour depth 
level can be bumped up to 36-bit, 
as compared to a max 12-bit on 
the WD Live. File playback is 
pretty much seamless off a USB 



storage device. It handled all file 
formats we threw at it. 

What the Boxee handles 
much better than the WD Live 
is the video streaming bit - off 
the PC on the same network. 
While the WD Live depends 
on software such as PS3 Media 
Server and TVersity, Boxee has 
its own Boxee Media Manager 
app for the PC and Mac. Select 
the folders from within the app, 
connect the Boxee via a wired 
connection to the same network, 
and it will immediately detect 
those folders in the File Menu. 
The streaming does work well 
off a wired connection. We 
played back SD videos without 
any stuttering. Most 720p HD 
videos also played back without 
stutters. However, 1080p HD 
videos will stutter, depending on 
the router limitations. Weirdly, 
the volume control doesn't work 
when you are streaming an HD 
video (.mkv format, usually). 

The remote that comes with 
the Boxee is just brilliant. One 
side is a bunch of keys- directon, 
menu, play/pause and return on 
a glossy form factor. On the other 
side is a fuh-fledged QWERTY 
keypad. That is useful 
when accessing web 
apps. 



Speaking of which, the 
variety of web content is quite 
good. However, we do get lim- 
ited content in our geographical 
location. For example, Netflix 
doesn't work here. However, 
you do get apps such as Groove- 
shark, TuneIN Radio, You Tube 
and even a web browser. The 
browser does render web sites 
quite well, and was much better 
than what we expected. 

Overall, the Boxee is a bit 
of this and a bit of that device. 
It works well as an HD media 
player when you connect a USB 
drive to it. It works equally well 
when you are streaming videos 
to it from a PC on the same net- 
work. We do not get the exciting 
apps such as Netflix in India, so 
that basically reduces the serv- 
ices to a similar level as the rivals. 
The variety is definitely more 
with the Boxee but we aren't sure 
how many of those you will use. 
The price of ?13,999 is definitely 
on the expensive side. And that 
is the only real fault we can find 
with this device. You may want 
to check out the WD Live Hub 
— costs about ?11.5k and comes 
with 1TB storage space. 
VishalMathur 



106 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 




Kim Jong-il looks around 

North Korea's 'dear Leader' has a fascination with Lool<ing at things. This 
website has pictures tal<en by people Looking at Kim Jong-iL Looking at things 
http://bit.ly/dfqWy8 



Tribute to Steve jobs 

CaLifornia Governor pays tribute by 
naming October 16 Steve Jobs Day 
http://cnet.co/2kfeCm 



Bazaar 



Sony Bravia HX925 

This is 46-inches of being almost perfect 



The Bravia HX925 has a 
1920xl080pHDwith 
Corning Gorilla Glass 
panel. It has a built- 
in web browser, You Tube app, 
Facebook, Twitter, widgets and 
Skype capabilities - this does 
really pack a few punches if you 
want web-based content on the 
television. We were a tad disap- 
pointed by the limited variety of 
widgets at the moment. What 
particularly impressed us was 
the YouTube app. We had con- 
nected the HX925 via a particu- 
larly not very fast Wi-Fi, but the 
video streaming was literally 
buffer free. A 720p HD video 
buffered for 4 seconds and 
played the rest of the 12 min- 
utes stutter free. If you happen 
to go back into the menu while 



Specifications 

Screen: 13.3-inch glossy, 

1366x768; CPU: Intel Core 

i5-2467M 1.6 GHz; RAM 

4GBDDR3;HDD:320GB: 

GPU: Intel HD Graphics; OS 

Windows 7 Home Premium 

64-bit; Ports: 2 x USB, 

VGA, HDMI, card reader, 

headphone; Battery: 3-cell 

Li-polymer; Weight: 1.35 kg 

Contact 

Acer India Pvt Ltd 

Website: www.acer.co.in 

Contact: 080-25329520 / 21 / 23 

Price: ^52,900 




Features 6.5 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for Money 7.0 



watching a You Tube 
video, the video won't 
pause. The small 
window will open 
up on one part of the 
screen that will keep 
the video playing. 

HD video play- 
back was quite good. 
Satisfactory bright- 
ness and contrast levels made 
the visual experience that much 
better. There are a lot of other 
settings that you can tweak as 
well. Fast moving scenes didn't 
look good at all until we set the 
Fast motion setting to Super 
Smooth. No matter what setting 
we selected before this - clear 
or smooth, fast moving objects 
(birds flying etc.) did not feel 
real, and even suffered from 




minor momentary distortion. 
Live Colour feature does add a 
lot of zing to the colours, but we 
suggest you keep this turned off. 
With this television, you 
can even watch 2D content as 
3D. Two 3D glasses are provided 
as a part of the package. Overall, 
Sony's taken the game to the 
next level with the HX925. 3D 
content better than ever. 

VishalMathur 



Specifications 

Display: LED with Intelligent 
Peak, 3D display 1080p 
resolution, X-Reality Pro 
engine. Corning Gorilla Glass; 
Ports: 4 HDMI in, 2 USB, 1 
Optical Audio out; Web: Wi-Fi 
built-in, Facebook and Twitter, 
You Tube, Sony video app 

Contact 

Sony India 

Plione: 18001037799 

Email: NA 

Web site: www.sony.co.in 
Price: ^1,53,000 




Features 8.0 

Performance 7.5 

Build Quality 8.0 

Value for Money 7.0 



Acer Aspire S3 



High quality slim ultraportable at an affordable price 



Make no mistakes, 
the Aspire 
S3 takes aim 
directly at the 
razor-thin MacBook Air ultrap- 
ortable laptop. 

The Aspire S3's chassis is 
constructed of magnesium 
alloy and has a gun metal exte- 
rior which feels nice on touch. 
The slim 13-inch laptop weighs 
and measures about the same 
as a 13-inch MacBook Air. There 
isn't a hint of gloss anywhere, 
except the black monolithic dis- 
play. The Aspire S3's build isn't 
exactly similar to the MacBook 
Air, but it's definitely good and 
premium. Despite its 13-inch 
form factor, the Acer Ultrabook 
weighs the same as a 10-inch 
netbook. Sweet! 



There's no optical drive, 
ethernet and side ports on the 
S3; included ports are placed 
on its spine. Wireless connec- 
tivity includes 802.11 b/g/n and 
Bluetooth 4.0. The laptop sports 
a 2nd generation Intel Core i5 
processor and oodles of RAM 
to offer better performance than 
any netbook and nearly as good 
as a mainstream 14-inch laptop. 

That said, 
the Aspire S3's 
overall perform- 
ance is good. 
Working with 
day-to-day 




apps is just fine, and its instant 
on feature revives the S3 from 
sleep mode within just a few 
seconds. Very snappy. 

The laptop plays 1080p 
HD files well at native res, but 
has disappointing onboard 
audio. Its keyboard is nice and 
singe-slab touchpad takes time 
getting used to. Battery com- 
partment is sealed but its per- 
formance is surpris- 
ingly good, though 
— easily expect over 
3.5 hours of browsing 
the Web. Overall, a 
good offering by Acer 
for style savvy cus- 
tomers for a thin, pre- 
mium ultraportable at 
an affordable price. 

Jayesh Shinde 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



107 



Bazaar 



Infidelity detector 

A man reported that the Find my Friend 
application on the new iPhone 4S helped him 
catch his wife cheating on him 



Baby repair kit 

It may only be a matter of months before babies 
start getting treated for deficiencies while in their 
mother's womb http://bit.ly/pojxkN 



Acer Iconia Asoi 



The future is bright, the future has an OS update lined up! 



The Acer Iconia A501 
weighs exactly the 
same as the Motorola 
Xoom— 730 grams 
(approx.), but just feels more 
comfortable to hold and use for 
a long duration. The build quality 
is quite good. No rough edges. 

The dual core IGHz processor 
deservedly gets 1GB of RAM, 
allowing it to flex its muscles. The 
performance on offer is quite good. 
The moment games kick in you do 
feel the punch. Even with a couple 
of apps and the web browser open 
in the background, the HD version 
of Need For Speed- Shift didn't face 
any problems. 

The white levels are quite 
good on the 10.1-inch display, 
and that shows when browsing 
the web. The crispness also helps 



Specifications 

Platform: Android 2.2; 

Processor: IGHz processor; 

RAM: 512MB; Display: 

7-inch resistive touchscreen. 

Resolution: 800x480 pixels; 

Storage: 8GB, microSD slot to 

expand it to 16GB more; Unique 

feature: can make and receive 

calls; Battery: 2200 mAh 

Contact 

Beetel Teletech Limited 

Email: customer.care(a)beeteL.in 

Contact: 01204823500 

Price: ?9,999 




Features 6.0 

Performance 6.5 

BuiLd Quality 7.0 

Value for Money 6.0 



when you are reading 
text. The extremely 
reflective nature of the 
display does mean you 
will be forced to use it at 
certain angles, depending 
on the light positioning. 

It's a problem playing 
back most HD video files 
though— unrecognized 
codecs. The Standard Defi- 
nition AVI files played back just 
fine. Once the Android 3.1 and 3.2 
updates arrive on this device, this 
problem will be solved. 

The placement of the camera 
on the rear side is a bit of an issue 
though. If you hold the tablet in 
landscape mode, your fingers will 
inevitably touch its camera. 

Battery life on the Iconia isn't 
as good as what we see on the 




Apple iPad, but defi- 
nitely better than what we expe- 
rienced on the Motorola Xoom. 
This one lasts about three days, 
from full charge to full discharge, 
which is quite good. 

In a straight comparison to the 
Motorola Xoom, the Iconia A501 
has the advantage of form factor. 
Check out our detailed review 
here: http://goo.gl/vpsFA 

VishalMathur 



Beetel MAGIQ 

Different, very 

The MAGIQ has a 7-inch 
resistive touchscreen, 
and comes preloaded 
with Android 2.2.2. 
There is a neat UI skin wrapped 
around the OS, and we kind of 
the like the multiple desktop 
thing that it is trying to create 
here. The traditional Android 
notification bar has been 
removed, and what remain are 
just the icons - for bat- 




tery status, wireless control, 
network signal, Bluetooth and 
even brightness management. 

The MAGIQ is powered by a 
IGHz processor and paired with 
512MB of RAM. The tablet comes 
with 8GB of built-in storage, and 
you can expand the memory 
using a microSD card, up to 16GB. 
The limited amount of RAM is 
going to be a bit of a perform- 
ance-limiting factor. 
The 7-inch resis- 
tive touchscreen 
is a definite 
sore point. 
Resistive 
displays 
are just a 
backward step for 
the product as a whole. Capaci- 
tive screens rock! 



Specifications 

Platform: Android 3.0.1 
(Honeycomb): Processor: 
ARM Cortex-A9 dual core 
IGHz; 1GB RAM; Display: 10.1 
inch, 1280x800 resolution; 
Storage: 16GB built-in, 
microSD slot up to 32GB; 
Connectivity: 3G + Wi-Fi; 
Battery: 3260 mAh 

Contact 

Acer India 

Web site: http://www.acer.co.in/ 

ac/en/IN/content/home 

Price: ^32,990 




Features 6.0 

Performance 6.5 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for Money 6.5 



The 2MP camera on the rear, 
as well as the video chat one, isn't 
very good. Extremely grainy 
images at best, even with good 
lighting around. Videos are very 
jerky as well. 

Battery life is not as good as we 
hoped it would be. A bit of video 
viewing, web browsing and some 
music and the MAGIQ ran out of 
battery in about 4 hours. This was 
when the brightness was turned 
down to 20%. 

To sport a price tag of ^9999, 
the MAGIQ does make some 
compromises - resistive touch- 
screen. Android 2.2 and a heavy 
form factor. However, if you don't 
mind spending ^13000 on a net- 
work locked tablet, then the Reli- 
ance 3G Tab is attractive. 

VishalMathur 



108 



Digit I November 2011 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



3D Flash games on the web? 

Flash 11 was shown running Unreal 
Tournament 3 at Adobe MAX 2011, so it might 
not be impossible http://bit.ly/nKbkD 



Faster speed? Why? 

An in-depth review of USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 

Bazaar 

http://bit.ly/nHeCZE 



Bazaar 



Sony BDV-E980 home theater 

Punching above its weight 




What surprised us 
about the BDV- 
E980isthefact 
that it actually 
feels like a mid-range home theater 
setup. That little dash of "premium 
feel" does allow this HTS to sport 
a price tag that takes it well into 
the Denon/ Onkyo/ 
Yamaha category. 
Its receiver does 
look a bit like the 
Bose Lifestyle ones. 
Setting it up is 
easy. With colour 
coded speaker 
wires, you may just 
be able to set up the 
speakers and hook 
them up well before 
the service person 
comes along. 



Specifications 

10.1-inch display 1280 x 800 

resolution, IGhz dual core, 

1GB RAM, 16 GB storage, 3G 

capability with standard SIM 
card, 3.2MP rear camera & 

2MP video call camera, Wi-Fi 
and Bluetooth, Android 3.1 

Contact 

Samsung India 

Email: http://bit.Ly/pvoDDm 

Website: http://www.samsung. 

com/in/ 

Contact: (Prefix Local STD 

Code) 3030 8282 

Price: ?36,200 

I 

Features 7.5 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for Money 6.5 




However, the glossy finish on the 
receiver as well as the speaker 
floor stands for the means you 
will have to be extra careful to pre- 
vent scratches. And also maintain 
against dust. This is a 5. Channel 
HTS with two HDMI inputs as 
well, and a Blu-Ray player to boot 
that does 3D as well! 

Once hooked up, you can con- 
figure the speaker levels. We sug- 
gest keeping most at default, but 
do bump up the centre channel 
to +2 dB (for vocal clarity) and the 
sub to +1 dB (for punchier bass). As 
far as sound quality goes, we just 
loved the vocal clarity from the 




very slim centre channel speaker. 
Also, the surround effect is quite 
immersive. Its bass sounds a little 
rubbery, but as we have seen with 
most HT setups, the sub does take 
a couple of dozen hours of being 
active to really open up. 

Overall, at almost ^40,000, 
this HTS does 
face competition 
from the likes of 
the Denon HTS 
391XPIfyouhave 
a Blu-ray player, 
we suggest going 
for the Denon. 
However, if you 
want a Blu-ray 
as well, you can 
definitely check 
this one out. 
Vishal Mathur 




Specifications 

5.1 channel Blu-Ray home 
theater, 3D picture and 3D 
surround, HDMI repeater, 
HDMI out, optical audio, LAN 
capabilities, Wi-Fi optional 

Contact 

Sony India 

Web site: http://www.sony.co.in 
Email: http://bit.Ly/o7xidE 
Contact: 18001037799 
Price: ^39,990 

Features 7.5 

Perfornnance 7.5 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for Money 6.5 




Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 

Android tablets reach the next level 



Despite their best 
efforts, the likes of the 
Motorola Xoom, Acer 
Iconia and the Asus 
Transformer, the Apple iPad has 
remained unchallenged. But the 
challenge has finally arrived - the 
Samsung Galaxy Tab 750. Just to 
clear out the confusion, the Tab 
730 has a 7- inch display, while 
the Tab 750 has a 10-inch display. 
Significantly the Tab 750 
outdoes the iPad 2 in two signifi- 
cant aspects - the weight and the 
thickness. Apple iPad 2 weighs 
607 grams while the Tab 750 
weighs only 565 grams. While 
the purists will point fingers at the 
plastic finish that Samsung has 
applied on the 750, but it has done 
the job. The iPad 2 has an 8.8mm 
thickness while the Tab 750 has 



a 8.6 mm thickness 
- not much but the 
figures speak for 
themselves! 

We always 
expect brilliant 
displays from Sam- 
sung devices, based 
on the past trend. 
And the Tab 750's 
display is much 
better than all other com- parable 
Android tablets. The iPad 2's dis- 
play is still a bit crisper though, 
despite the 750's higher resolu- 
tion. Brightness wise, the Tab's 
display does well at 50% setting. 
Any more, it is just too bright for 
normal usage scenarios. Perform- 
ance wise. Android just felt slicker 
on this than the Xoom or the 
Iconia A501. However, Android 




as an OS just lets down the tablets, 
and the Tab 750 faces the brunt 
too. The sudden jerkiness and 
stutters are just disappointing. 
Battery life is comparable to the 
iPad 2 - about 12 hours. 

If you want an Android tablet, 
this is the one to buy. If you want 
just a tablet, the iPad 2 is still the 
one to buy. 

Vishal Mathur 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



109 



Bazaar 



SIRI 

At an appLe conference on October 4 a new assistant 
program caLLed SIRI was Launched, which claims to 
forever change the way we interact with our phones. 



Salvage Bot 



NASA is thinl<ing of sending robots into space so as 
to salvage parts from the "graveyard" belt, an orbit 
where sateLLites go to die. 



Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini 

Updated to sheer brilliance 



The updated Xperia 
Mini is slightly bigger 
than its predecessor. 
While the older one 
had a 2.55-inch display, the new 
one has a 3-inch one. The keys 
have been redesigned as well. 

The IGHz processor is 
paired with 512 MB of RAM. It 
doesn't get bogged down when 
you install apps on it, and only 
slightly slower when you have 
a bunch of apps running in the 
background. 

The Timescape UI has come 
a long way since we first saw 
it. The latest version on the 
Xperia Mini of Corner UI has 
app shortcuts on all four edges. 
Now you can set upto four icons 
in any of the four clusters. Very 
convenient and actually useful. 



Specifications 

Platform: Proprietary; 

Processor: 200MHz; Display: 

2.4-inch QVGA, 320x240 

pixel resolution; Camera: 

2MP with LED flash; Storage: 

microSD slot up to 16GB; 

Battery: 1000 mAh 

Contact 

Vodafone India 

Web site: www.vodafone.in 

Price: ^4,950 




Features 6.5 

Performance 7.0 

BuiLd Quality 7.0 

Value for Money 7.0 



The 3-inch 
display is 
LED backlit 
with a resolu 
tion of 320x480 
pixels. While this 
is a slight bump 
up, size-wise, from 
its predecessor, it 
still keeps the Mini 
well within the tiny 
smartphone category. 
However, typing out an 
SMS just became a lot more 
comfortable on this. 

Camera performance is a bit 
of a disappointment though. 
Images are not very crisp, and 
lack detailing. 

Battery lasts 1.5 days with 
usage including a few voice calls, 
constant connectivity to either 




Wi-Fi or EDGE and the inevi- 
table WhatsApp chats. 
The updated Sony 
Ericsson Xperia Mini 
is possibly one of the 
best Android smart- 
phones to have 
arrived in the 
market in 2011. 
Just goes on 
to show how 
important 
updates are. 
A powerful 
processor, the latest 
version of Android and premium 
finish at a box price of ^13,380 
makes this an amazing deal. 
Otherwise, why not go for the 
Xperia Mini Pro and get a physical 
QWERTY keypad as well? 

Vishal Mathur 



Specifications 

Platform: Android 2.3; 
Processor: Qualcomm 
Snapdragon single core IGHz, 
512MB RAM; Display: 3.0-inch 
LED display 320x480 pixel 
resolution; Storage: 320MB, 
microSD slot; Camera: 5MP 
with 720p videos; Battery: 
1200 mAh 

Contact 

Sony Ericsson India 
Web site: www.sonyericsson.com 
Contact: (124) 4625055 
Price: ^13,380 




Features 7.5 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for Money 7.5 



Vodafone S^S Blue 

Facebook will never be too far away 



Facebook integration 
seems to be the name of 
the game. We reviewed 
the HTCChaCha some- 
time back (http://goo.gl/4Cj8r), 
and that was the first indication 
of how deeply Facebook can be 
integrated with the smartphone. 
Blue doesn't have the ChaCha's 
banana curve design, and the 
keypad layout is also a lot dif- 
ferent from the HTC phone. The 
QWERTY keypad is distinctly 
divided into four rows, while all 
keys in one row don't have a lot of 
spacing between them. 

One word- Facebook! The 
darned Facebook button holds 
more aces up its sleeve! This time 
offering functionality and access 
we had expected, and not remain 
just a quick post thing. 



The 2.4-inch QVGA 
display has a resolution 
of 320x240 pixels. It is a 
pretty okay display for 
reading text on, and the 
high-ish brightness levels 
means that viewing in 
sunlight won't be a real 
problem. 

Don't expect much 
from the 2MP camera, 
except a quick snap to 
post on Facebook. 

Vodafone Blue does cut 
down on features like Wi-Fi 
connectivity and 3G. The slow 
speeds on EDGE means You 
Tube is almost certainly out of 
the question. 

Despite being a pretty small 
battery, just 1000 mAh worth 
of juice, it manages to hold up 




quit well - 
about a day 
and a half to 
two days. 

The 
Vodafone 555 
Blue is aimed 
at a very spe- 
cific audience 
- the 'social 
networking 
addicted' kids! This 
surely isn't a smartphone, but 
does three things very well - calls, 
messages and Facebook. Basic 
looks and build quality, and the 
phone's hardware specs aren't 
anything exciting. 

For ^4950, the Vodafone 555 

Blue might just be what you need 

to access Facebook on the cheap. 

Vishal Mathur 



110 



Digit I November 2011 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



Rise of the phoenix 

Researchers at the university of PennsyLvania have 
deveLoped a robot that an rebuild itself as required. Perfect 
for space exploration. 



Unfriend that snealcy little rat! 

Arizona State University have deveLoped a system for 
predicting which of your friends are more LikeLy to Leal< private 
information about you 



Bazaar 



Zotac Zbox Nano Plus ADio 

A neatly packed small wonder! 



ZOTAC scores another 
win with this mini PC. 
Known for packing in 
many features into the 
Mini-ITX form factor, ZOTAC has 
managed to up the ante with the 
ZBOX NANO PLUS which makes 
use of a Nano-ITX(12 cm x 12 cm) 
board. Few people are aware of the 
Mini-ITX form factor, even fewer 
will know about the nanoTTX. 
The glossy black surface of the 
ZBOX with aluminium sides 
seems quite similar to Apple's 
theme, however, this is much 
smaller than the Mac Mini. 

Also included is a Media 
Centre Edition remote control and 
an infrared receiver. 

What really caught our atten- 
tion was the base of the unit. It's 
actually a standard VESA mount. 



So if you have a monitor which 

accords to the VESA standard 

then you can attach the base onto 

the back of your monitor and the 

ZBOX NANO will easily latch 

onto it. You can convert your 

monitor into an All-In-One with 

this. They might as well market 

it as such. It features 2 USB 3.0 

ports and an eSATA port too. So 

HD movies can easily be played 

via an external without any 

jittering. It only has a single 




module in single channel mode 
but one doesn't need more than 
that for a media PC. 

It's quite easy to access the 
memory and HDD, unscrew 4 
thumb- screws on the bottom and 
the VESA mount plate comes off 
You can easily upgrade your drive 
and memory capacity. One might 
assume that the unit could heat 
up considerably given the small 
form factor, however, the unit is 
surprisingly cool for the tech- 
nology it houses. 

There are multiple models of 
the ZBOX NANO available, we 
got the AMD model with 2 GB 
RAM and 320GB HDD. This is 
a great HTPC option due to its 
super tiny form factor. 

Mithun Mohandas 



Specifications 

CPU: AMD E-350 1.6GHz; 
GPU: AMD Radeon HD6310; 
RAM: 2GB DDR3 1066MHz; 
HDD: 320GB; LAN: Gigabit 
Ethernet; Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n; 
Bluetooth: 3.0; Dimensions: 
127mm x 127mm x 45mm; 
Audio in/out, HDMI, Display 
Port, eSATA, 2x USB 2.0, 2x 
USB 3.0, Kensington Lock, 
MMC Slot; Warranty: 1-Year. 

Contact 

Neoteric Informatique Ltd. 
Web site: http://www.zotac.com 
Contact: +91-9891282522 
Price: ^00,000 




Features 7.5 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for Money 8.0 



ASUS Matrix GTX 580 Platinum Card 



More power to the gamers 



Specifications 

Core Clock: 816 MHz; CUDA 
cores: 512; Video Memory: 

1536 MB GDDR5; IVJemory 

Interface: 384-bit; Ports: 2x 

DVI, Ix HDMI, Ix DisplayPort 

Contact 

ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd. 

Email: reachus(a)asus.com 

Web site: www.asus.in 

Contact: 1800 209 0365 

Price: ?30,000 



The GeForce GTX 580 
is a beast in itself when 
it comes to perform- 
ance and with ASUS 
branding it under the ROG 
series, what you get is a monster 
card. That the Matrix GTX 580 
is factory overclocked is a given. 
What adds to aura 



^^^U 




Features 8.0 

Performance 8.5 

Build Quality 9.0 

Value for Money 6.5 




around the card are the 

features surrounding it. 

First thing that strikes you is the 

size - its a triple slot card. Just 



beneath 8-pin power connec- 
tors, you will notice three but- 
tons which include two voltage 
tweaking buttons (denoted by + 
and - sign) for performance opti- 
mization. There's a utility called 
GPU Tweak which eases over- 
clocking the card. The card glows 
in various colours to 
indicate load. 

The Matrix 
GTX 580 is 
overclocked by 
44MHz from its 
reference settings. 
We tested the card 
using an ASUS X58 Saber- 
tooth board alongwith Intel Core 
i7-980X processor and 4 GB 
DDR3 Kingston HyperX RAM. 

As expected, the Matrix GTX 
580 came out with flying colours. 



Synthetic benchmarks such as 3D 
Mark 11 gave an overall score of 
2179 at Extreme settings (1080p) 
and Unigine Heaven 2.5 gave 41.5 
FPS at 1920x1200, Extreme tesel- 
lation. The overclock gives around 
10 percent increase in the scores 
across gaming benchmarks. 
Crysis Warhead gave 49 FPS at 
1920x1200 at Very High settings. 
STALKER: Call Of Pripyat and 
FarCry 2 both gave a 10 per cent 
increase in benchmarks at 1080p. 
Over ASUS's own GTX 580, the 
Matrix GTX 580 gives about a 
12-15 FPS jump in certain games 
on same settings. 

Pricing is quite high at 

^30,000. But then, this is meant 

for hardcore gamers who spend 

the extra buck for added features. 

Nimish Sawant 



Digit I November 2011 I www.tlninkdigit.com 



111 



Bazaar 



The power of Flash 

Developers at Adobe MAX 2011 showcased Unreal 
Tournament III running in a web browser via fLasii. 



The curse of the 'droid 

Autlior Walter Isaacson claims tiiat Steve Jobs claimed 
that he would use all his power to destroy android. 



Wipro e.Go Aero 



Netbook-Uke form factor, super-sized performance 



The Wipro e.Go Aero 
11-inch pseudo-net- 
book is an interesting 
notebook. We call it 
a pseudo-netbook because 
beneath its slim, ultraportable 
chassis lies hardware that 
is befitting any mainstream 
laptop. This helps the Wipro 
e.Go Aero deliver better-than- 
netbook performance in a sim- 
ilar shell which isn't difficult to 
carry along. 

The e.Go is very similar to 
the Acer Aspire One 722 net- 
book we tested last month, but 
it doesn't have Intel's Atom or 
AMD's Fusion chipset, opting 
for a generation old Core 13 
ultra-low voltage processor 
instead. It doesn't lack in terms 
of features and connectivity 

Specifications 

Screen: 14-inch glossy, 

1600x900; CPU: Intel Core 

i7-2720QM 2.2 GHz; RAM: 

6 GB DDR3; HDD: 320GB; 

GPU: 1.5 GB Nvidia GeForce 

GT555M; OS: Windows 7 

Home Premium 64-bit; Ports: 

3 X USB, VGA, HDMI, 9-in-l 

card reader, ethernet; Battery: 

8-cell; Weight: 2.93-kg 

Contact 

ALienware 

Web site: www.aLienware.co.in 

Contact: 1800-425-8118/ 

080-2510-8983 

Price: ?94,500 




Features 7.5 

Performance 8.0 

BuiLd Quality 6.5 

Value for Money 7.0 




options either, sporting specs 
common for every mainstream 
laptop these days. 

The e.Go has a glossy white 
plastic exterior and a textured 
matte deck, it sports a matte 
black bezel with a glossy 
screen. Its chiclet-sized iso- 
lated keys are good to type 
on, but we've seen better key- 
boards. Watching movies and 



listening to music is a 
pleasant experience, 
given the e.Go's slim 
form factor -- it isn't 
outstanding though. 
The performance 
is much better than 
what you'd expect on 
a general netbook. 
The laptop offers 
decent battery life of 
over 3 hours while surfing the 
Web over Wi-Fi. 

The laptop, however, sports 
a tiny touchpad and a single- 
strip mouse button which can 
take a while to get used to. Its 
build quality isn't exceptional 
either. Still, the e.Go's worth 
considering for a laptop with 
netbook-like form factor. 

Jayesh Shinde 



Alienware M14X 

Lean, mean, portable gaming machine 



In August, we reviewed the 
Alienware M17x and MUx, 
a 17-inch gaming behemoth 
and a pseudo-ultraportable 
gaming rig. For gaming enthusi- 
asts interested in a middle ground, 
there's Alienware M14x, a 14-inch 
gaming laptop which isn't as 
heavy as the 17-incher and per- 
forms almost as well. 

The M14x is well-moulded in 
the Alienware fabric, sporting an 
angular design with a 
laser-etched 
glowing alien 
logo. Its full- 
metal body 
comprising of 
the screen lid 
and the rest of 
the chassis meet 
midway with two 



central hinges. We aren't big fans 
of the hinges being so close to each 
other, it gives the MMx's screen 
a slight wobble whenever you 
move it. But its backlit keyboard 
has keys with a smooth matte 
finish that's great to use, and it's 
a similar story with the textured 
touchpad. The whole thing, with 
a 8-cell battery, weighs just under 
3-kg — heavy but not bad for a 
mobile gaming powerhouse. 



Specifications 

Screen: 11.6-inch matte, 
1336x768 resolution; CPU: Intel 
Core i3-380UM 1.3 GHz; RAM: 
2 GB DDR3; HDD: 320GB; GPU: 
Intel HD; OS: Linux (Win 7 
optional); Ports: 3 x USB, VGA, 
8-in-l card reader, ethernet, 
headphone, mic; Battery: 6-cell; 
Weight: 1.33-kg 

Contact 

Wipro Systems & Teclinology 

Web site: www.wipro.in, 

egobywipro.com 

Email: ecare(a)wipro.com 

Contact: 1800-200-3456 

Price: ^35,990 




Features 7.0 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 5.5 

Value for Money 6.0 



112 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 




There's no doubt about 
the system's performance — it 
scored 9,181 and 12,556 in PC 
Mark Vantage and 3D Mark 06, 
respectively — one of the highest 
we've seen on a laptop for quite 
some time. Gaming was decent 
as well - Far Cry 2 at 1600x900, 
Ultra, 4xAA averaged at 31 fps, 
while Crysis 2 at 1600x900, 
Ultra averaged at 22 fps with 
framing. The M14x is a very 
good multimedia and enter- 
tainment machine, its screen 
is nice and bright, the onboard 
speakers surprisingly good. 
As expected, battery life isn't 
great — just under 90 minutes 
while looping a music video. 
Overall, a very good gaming 
machine well worth its price. 
Jayesh Shinde 




Bazaar 



mini 



' QUICK 
INSIGHTS 
FROM INDEPTH 
TESTS 



The Digit Test Centre receives hundreds of 
products every nnonth. Each of these products 
is put through a series of tests, and is finally 
given a verdict. The final score is arrived at after 
considering a number of factors and evaluating 
thenn in terms of features, performance, value 
for money, build quality, and, in the case of 
software, even ease of use. 

For better understanding of our ratings, here's a 
quick guide to our overall score 
1.0 - 3.0 - Extremely poor product. Keep away! 
3.5 - 5.0 - Strictly OK. Not recommended 
5.5 - 6.5 - Decent product. Go for it, but there 

may be better products out there. 
7.0 - 8.5 - Very good product. Highly 

recommended. 
9.0-10.0 - Ground-breaking product. We've never 

seen anything like it before. A definite 

must buy! 





Social headphone 

The Zumreed X2 Hybrid, a set of headphones 
which can double up as speal<ers as weLL 
http://bit.ly/n3qtNg 



CABINET 



PHONE 





Cooler Master Elite 311 

Plus Cabinet GTive 620 Gaming Phone 

Price: ?2,800 Price: ^2,500 

^CIFICATIOh 



Bays: 3x 5.25-inch, 7x 3.5-inch drive 

Front Ports: 3x USB 2.0, Ix USB 3.0 

IMobo form factors ATX, IMicro ATX 

Weight 5.6kg 

^^1 TEST CENTRE RATINGS 
Features 7.0 

It has a USB 3.0 port in the front and a 
transparent acrylic side panel which will 
allows you to show off your system. The 
3.5-inch HDD bay is detachable. 

Performance 6.0 

Things were moderately warm on stock 
coolers. CPU delta reached 60 degrees, 
GPU delta reached 48 degrees celcius. 

Build quality 7.0 

Despite having a transparent side 
panel, it is quite sturdy and does not 
bend easily. 

Value for money 5.0 

Priced higher than the Elite 311 despite 
the only changes being an extra USB 
3.0 port and acrylic side panel. 



Resolution QVGA, 240x320 

Screen 2.4-inch 

Audio 3.5 mm 

Wireless Bluetooth 

(All Scores out of 10) ^^^| 

Features 7.5 

G'Five G20 is a dual SIM gaming phone 
with a gamepad and amazing speakers 
with Yamaha amplifiers. 

Performance 8.0 

Its gamepad has good precision, and 
reactive buttons along with a 2.4-inch 
screen that shows vivid colors. The 
speakers are loud and battery draining. 

Build Quality 6.0 

The body of the phone is made with 
hard plastics which are a little flimsy 

Value for IMoney 8.5 

At ^2,500, it is an amazing gaming 
phone that deserves all the accolades 
thanks to its core features and others 
like Analog TV. 



® 



WE SAY 




Cooler Master Elite 311 Plus 
makes for a good entry level 
cabinet at the price. The cabinet 
has USB 3.0 ports on the front 
which is quite a good feature to 
have, although we would have 
loved to see at least two for con- 
necting various other USB devices. 
For a high end ganning rig, you 
do need sonnething nnore than a 
stock cooler to keep things inside 
cool. We still feel that an alnnost 
?1,000 junnp for a single USB 3.0 
port and transparent acrylic sheet 
isn't worth it. Slightly steep at its 
current price, but if you nnanage to 
snag this one for ?2400, it connes 
reconnnnended as good. 



Quite the revelation, this G'Five 
G20 ganning phone. We didn't 
expect a whole lot at the price but 
it surpassed our expectations. 
The G'Five G20 has a bar design 
fornn factor with a nnulti-direction- 
al touch pad and a plastic nunneric 
keypad below it. The nnost innpres- 
sive parts of the package are 
the gannepad that connects to 
the phone via USB, and the good 
sound experience. 

G'Five G20 portrays true dyna- 
nnisnn in its segnnent, for both price 
and features, and also the acces- 
sories that are bundled within the 
package. No doubt that this is a 
very good phone at the price. 




Bazaar mini 

Quick insights from indepth tests 



A6 will still be Samsung made 

Samsung wiLL stiLL be producing the quad-core 
processors to be used in Apple's next iPinone, dispite 
tlie bitter court battle between tine two companies. 



Salted disk 

Impregnating a iiard disl< pLatter witli salt 
lias been proven to increase its capacity by 
six times - http://tgr.ph/nS5SRJ 



^ -^^=^'=^- ^ 



- 'j^ 



Mercury MTab 

Price: ?9,499 



PROJECTOR 



LG AF115 projector 

Price: ^1,60,000 



KEYBOARD 





Microsoft Wireless 
Desktop 2000 

Price: ?1,650 




Nikon COOLPIXS9100 

Price: ?18,950 



Processor. IGHz 

RAM 512MB 

Storage 4GB with memory card slot 

Platform Android 2.3 

Ports MiniHDMI 

Features 6.0 

At Least on paper, the MTab has a 
good specification set. It comes 
wiht a 7-inch screen and a mini 
HDMI port. 

Performance ...5.5 

OveraLL performance is average, 
but it has ordinary overaLL display 
quality. Sound output leaves a lot to 
be desired as well. 

BuiLd Quality. ...5.0 

It's like a previous generation 
tablet - bulky. 

Value for Money 6.0 

The Mtab is priced attractively 
and is one of the most inexpensive 
Android tablets in the market. 

The MTab seems to have excellent 
specs on paper, but the end product 
is let down by the bulky form factor 
and the 7-inch display that leaves a 
lotto be desired. 

It looks a lot like the original 
Samsung Galaxy Tab PIOOO, with 
minor tweaks in the button place- 
ment and the mini HDMI port. In 
the current day and age, we call 
that bulky! We would seriously 
recommend spending that extra bit 
of money on the Reliance 3G Tab. 
The 3G Tab is a far superior product 
overall, but it's network locked to the 
Reliance network. The MTab may be 
one of the cheapest Android tablets 
out there, but not recommendable. 



Projector SXRD projection system 

Native resolution 1920x1080 (1080p) 

Brightness 1500 lumens 

Contrast ratio 30000:1 

Ports 2 HDMI inputs 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS 

Features 8.0 

Very loaded in terms of features - 2 
HDMI inputs, 1500 lumens and 
30000:1 contrast ratio. 

Performance 8.0 

Delightful. Handles HD and SD 
content brilliantly. No audio 
handling capabilities though. 

Build Quality 7.0 

Looks good with solid build but 
the glossy finish is a dust and 
fingerprint magnet. 

Value for Money 5.5 

The LG AF115 does cost quite a 
bit, but high-performance full HD 
projectors aren't exactly affordable, 
at least not the good ones. 



Connection 2.4 GHz wireless, 

BlueTrack technology 

Security Advanced Encryption 

Standard (AES) 128-bit encryption 
Special features... Easy access hot keys 

(ALL scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

Media centre compatible with hot 
keys to access frequent apps. 

Performance 6.0 

Pillow texture palmrest with well 
spaced out keys. Response time is 
quite good. 

Build Quality 6.5 

Sturdy build with a matte black 
hard plastic back panel, glossy 
finish on the upper top half and a 
slip-resistant palm rest. 

Value for money 7.0 

Decent build quality together with 
Microsoft's exclusive BlueTrack 
sensor technology makes this 
combo a great buy for the price. 



WE SAY 



® 



® 



LG touts the AF115 as a premium 
home cinema projector, and post 
evaluation, we have to agree. At ?1.6 
lakh, the AF115 costs quite a bit, but 
high-performance full HD projectors 
aren't exactly affordable. However, it 
only works in a set-up that involves 
dedicated home theatre hard- 
ware. If you're looking at building 
a serious cinema system in your 
home, the AF115 is definitely worth 
considering. As an alternate, you 
have the Panasonic PT-AE4000E. 
It costs ?30k less than the LG 
AF115 and offers a very similar 
spec sheet and performance. 
The AF115 will please videophile 
movie-buffs with deep pockets. 



Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 
is definitely impressive to users 
interested in wireless keyboard 
and mouse combos with interac- 
tive user keys, comfortable palm 
grip and extended battery life. 
All of these features along with 
attractive price become selling 
points for the Wireless Desktop. 
It's ideal for most users today 
who'd rather not be constrained 
to their desks by wires. 

Some of the major points in 
favour of buying this keyboard 
mouse combo is the encrypted 
connections and a host of cus- 
tomisable buttons. Well worth 
the purchase, we think. 



Display 3-inch TFT LCD 

Resolution 12.1 MP 

Optical zoom 18X 

Self timer 2 sec and 10 sec 

ISO range ... 160, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 

J 

Features 6.0 

S9100 offers 25mm wide angle to 
450mm telephoto combined with a 
12MP CMOS sensor 

PorfnrmQnPD R Q 

It shoots sharp images. With its 
optical quality sensor, pics appear 
good, all the way from 25-140mm. 

Build Quality 6.5 

It has a Nikon ED glass lens with 
rotatory slider controls on the top 
and integrated pop-up flash. 

Value for money 5.5 

At ^8,950, it offers 18x optical 
wide-angle zoom which produces 
sharp images. But it's a touch 
costly compared to other cameras. 



® 



At ?18,950, the S9100 is a better 
package compared to its predecessor 
the S8000, courtesy a new sensor 
and much more versatile zoom lens. 

Image quality is very good in 
daylight conditions and HD video 
footage looks great. It's also one 
of the fastest and most respon- 
sive cameras in its class. 

The only major negative points 
are sub-par image quality in poor 
light at high ISO settings and very 
little manual exposure control. 

A built-in GPS would've been 
a great addition to the camera's 
feature list, but if you don't 
require every feature under the 
moon, check this out. 



114 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



Application compensation 

BLackBerry has offered to compensate users for 
the service downtime with free downloads of 
applications worth $100 



David Guetta's iPhone app 

David Guetta has Launched his Limited edition 
DJAY iPhone appLication for $7 (^345) 
http://bit.ly/rlHpzR 



Bazaar mini 



fc:i,.,3,...l. = ...:li.>^^ 




Nokia J Bluetooth 

Price: ^5,570 



PRINTER 




Canon Selphy CP800 

Price: ^5,295 




Microsoft Touch Mouse 

Price: ?3,999 




Zebronics ZEB- 
SW3200RUCF speakers 

Price: ?1,650 



Charging time 1 hour (2.5 hrs of 

talk time with 15 mins of charging) 

Module Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR 

Dimensions 47.4 x 12.5 x 6.4 mm 

Weight 8gm 

Features 7.0 

The J has echo cancellation, noise 
reduction, voice notifications and 
universal compatibility. 

PprfnrmQnno Tfl 

The audio clarity is crisp and loud. 
Pairing is a simple process. There's 
an "Always Ready" feature for calls. 

BuiLd Quality. ...7.5 

The chrome exterior gives it a 
blingy look. Good build quality, 
but will be prone to scratches and 
fingerprint smudges. 

Value for Money 6.0 

Good performance, shiny looks, but 
we believe this is just too expensive 
for a bluetooth headset. 

The J is an undoubtedly weird look- 
ing headset. From some angles, it 
actually looks like a faucet! How- 
ever, its performance is excellent. 
We loved the call quality and the 
clarity — usually an incompatible 
combo. Pairing is a simple process. 
What impressed us was the battery 
life - about 12 hours. However, the 
codes to activate and deactivate 
certain features follow the "press 
call key for xyz seconds" pattern. 

There are just too many of them 
to remember The price is quite 
steep, considering that for a bit more, 
you get the Plantronics Discovery 
975 with a carry case and battery 
integrated for charging on the go. 



Type Photo printer 

LCD display 2.5-inch 

Scanning resolution 300 dpi x 300 dpi 

IMax paper. 4-inch x 8-inch 

Input capacity 36 sheet 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS 

Features 7.0 

This one offers quite a bit for 
a photo printer. It can take 
commands from various sources. 

Performance 7.5 

We like the richness of the colours. 
Good speed too - one postcard size 
photo print in 1 min 18 seconds. 

Build Quality 7.0 

The Selphy CP800 has good build 
quality. The glossy finish will be a 
pain to maintain, though. 

Value for Money 6.0 

For this price, you can get a bigger 
HP PhotoSmart printer that can do 
a lot more. But Selphy gets points 
for its tiny form factor. 



Connection USB 2.0 wireless 

Touch Three finger 

Battery 2 x AA alkaline 

OS Windows 7 

Wireless Range 30 feet 

(ALL scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

It enhances the Windows 7 
navigation experience by allowing 
easy switching between tasks and 
using gestures. 

Performance 5.5 

It has quite interactive config steps 
with highly intuitive and precise 
swipe gestures. 

Build Quality 5.0 

It has a sleek matte black design. 
It hardly manages to impress in 
ergonomics with its weight and 
form factor. 

Value for money 4.5 

Expensive for what it offers right 
now, but future-proof. 



WE SAY 



® 



® 



The Selphy CP8GG is just a photo 
printer That fact is belied by its tiny 
size and the inability to slot an A4- 
sized sheet into it! 

However, it will print out images 
on postcards, labels etc. You can 
print from multiple inputs - USB, 
memory card and even directly off 
a camera. The colour settings can 
be tweaked between neutral, vivid, 
sepia, black and white etc. 

The Selphy CP8GG's printout 
speeds are impressive. One postcard- 
sized colour image was spat out in 
a minute and 18 seconds. You may 
also get an HP Photosmart AID for 
this price that can do a lot more, but 
this one isn't too bad either. 



With Windows 8 around the corner 
and the uncertainty of its 
compatibility with the mouse, at 
?3,999, the Touch Mouse is defi- 
nitely one for the future. But right 
now, it has risk attached to it. That 
risk is to understand whether you're 
overspending at the mouse's current 
asking price, considering the heavily 
touch-focused Windows 8, which 
only IMicrosoft can confirm whether 
this device is completely compatible 
with. We recommend it for general 
purposes to any Windows 7 user. 

We like the mouse's touch input 
and think it will be a future trend, 
but we're not too sure about the 
now, the present. 



R.M.S 20W + 12W X 2 

Support USB and memory card 

Configuration 2.1 

Remote Yes 

Warranty lyear 

Features 6.0 

It has multiple audio sources - FM 
Radio, USB, 3.5 mm and memory 
card. Good collection. 

PorfnrmQnno R Q 

Good audio clarity and decent 
enough bass punch. Overall, good 
audio quality Remote behaves well. 

Build Quality 6.5 

Keeping the price in mind, we found 
the ZEBGSW32GG build quality to 
be quite satisfactory 

Value fo"" Money 7.0 

For this price, the performance is 
quite acceptable. Not a bad deal to 
connect to your PC and use with a 
USB occasionally. 



® 



These Zebronics speakers are a 2.1 
channel type. While it has a very 
complicated name that doesn't re- 
ally roll off the tongue, the perform- 
ance is quite satisfactory 

We quite liked the Zebronics 
ZEB-SW32GGRUCF's audio clarity 
and the bass punch was quite 
satisfactory However, if the woofer 
is configured to any more than 8G 
per cent, the bass becomes boomy 
Any less than 5G per cent and the 
bass doesn't really have an effect. 
All in all, this is a speaker set that 
you can use with your PC, for oc- 
casional FM use and for plugging 
in a music-filled USB storage 
devicefrom time to time. 



Digit I November 2011 I www.thinkdigit.com 



115 



{devworx} 



Dennis Ritchie passes away 

Dennis Ritchie, tine computer scientist wlio pioneered tlie 
C programming Language and UNIX operating system, 
passed away on October 13 




• • 




Views and Templates 



Last month we learned how to get a Django web site 
up and running, well now look at the front end - the 
very look and feel of your new creation! 



Kshitij Sobti 

kshitij. sobti@thinkdigit. com 

The first half of this tutorial was 
published in the last issue of 
Digit, so if you haven't read that 
yet, check it out at (bit.ly/digit- 
django). We've covered the installation 
procedure for Django and its prerequisites, 
and created a basic Django site too. 

How Django works 

It might seem a little late to cover this, but 
you need to understand how Django works, 
especially the tasks that happen between 
intercepting a URL, and pushing the appro- 
priate content to the user. In Django, this 
happens in three steps: 

1. Django matches the URL you're visiting 
against a number of predefined patterns. 
In our example, the pattern could be 
"book" followed by a book number as 
"/book/12" or "/book/9". So in our case 
it is "/book/<number>". Similarly, we 
could have "/person/number" and "/ 
booklist" and "/personlist" all referring 
to different pages. Depending on which 
pattern is matched, the control is passed 
on to the view. 

2. Different views are defined to deal with 
different types of data. A book view will 
take the parameter from the URL from 
the previous step i.e. the book number 
and fetch the data that needs to be dis- 
played for this view. 

3. The view will then provide this data to 
a template, where this data will be filled 
in according to the parameters specified 
in the template; and finally dispatched to 



the person viewing the page. 

For example, when someone visits 
http://mysite.com/book/ll Django will 
match it against a set of patterns, and find 
that it matches the boo k/<n umber > pat- 
tern. It will then send the book number 
from the URL to the view, which will pull 
in data corresponding to the book. This 
data will then be filled in as defined by a 
template, and the end-result will be shown 
to the user. 



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t^^^im^^*l\ 1 



The basic Django view 

STEP 1: Matching URLs 

In the first part, we asked you to open the 
urls.py file and follow the instructions in 
that file to enable the admin panel. Now let 
us take a look at what those instructions 
actually did. This is what your urls.py file 
should be like (sans comments): 

from django. conf.urls. defaults 
import patterns, include, url 

from django. contrib import 
admin 

admin . autodiscover ( ) 

urlpatterns = patterns(", 
url(r'/\admin/', 
include( admin . site . urls ) ) , 

) 

Pay particular attention to the 
urlpatterns bit of the code, since it is 
defining which patterns to match, and 
what to do with them. This bit of code 



tells Django that if any URL path begins 
with "admin/" it should immediately be 
passed to the admin module of Django, 
where it will further look at the part of 
the URL to the right of "admin/" and 
show the appropriate content. 

Let us go ahead and add two more pat- 
terns here, one for the index page, and the 
other for an individual book page: 

url(r'/\$', 'books. views, 
index' ), 

url(r'Abook/(?P<book_id>\ 
d+)/$', 'books. views. book' ), 

The way to define patterns here is a 
simple semi-standard that you may have 
encountered before - Regular Expres- 
sions. You can refer to it at (bit.ly/digit- 
regex). You will need some knowledge of 
Regular Expressions for this bit. 

To give a basic idea of what is hap- 
pening here: 

• ^ refers to the starting location, and $ 
refers to the ending location 

• The "0" brackets around any pattern 
mean any condition that matches 
that pattern needs to be captured in 
a variable while the "?P<book_id>" 
provides the name of the variable. 
So a combination of the two tells the 
RegEx engine to capture the pattern 
as "book_id". 

• \d+ tells the regex engine that it needs 
to capture one or more digits. The "\d" 
identifies digits, while the "+" means 
one or more. 

The end result is that the pattern 
"^book/(?P<book_id>\d+)/$" will look 
for any URL that has a "book/" followed 
by a number, and if a match is found, it 
will capture the number part of that URL 
as the "bookjd". This pattern will NOT 
match invalid URLs such as "book/12b" 
or "book/abc" but it will match "book/0" 
so you will need to check for that. 

If you want to, you can have more 
complex patterns, which include a date 
or time or multiple parameters that come 
together to identify a resource. 

The 'books.views.index' specifies the 
view that needs to be called in case the 
pattern is matched. We are yet to create this 
view though. This view will also be passed 
by any parameter captured from the URL; 
so in the second case, the view 'books, 
views.book' will be passed to the "bookjd". 



116 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



<b>Contact us</b> 

Connect with us on our Facebook page (Join facebook.com/ 
devworx.in) and foLLow us on Twitter (@devworx). ALso, networl< 
witii feLLow developers on Linkedin at (linkd.in/devworx) 



freelance-writer:"{devworx}" 

If you're a passionate software developer and iiave a flair 
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editor@devworx.in with a sample article of your choice Developer corner 



STEP 2: The View 

Now that we have defined what to do with 
our URLs, we need to handle them when 
they come to the view The view has to pull 
in data from the database based on the part 
of the site being viewed, and display them 
to the end user. However, how this data is 
formatted is defined by a template. Open 
your views.py file in the books folder; it 
should be empty, but we'll soon fix that. 



Funvanl [he FDUDdatlan 



i 



The Django tempLate book page 

Let us start with just this bit of code: 

def book(request, book_id): 
return HttpResponse("The id 
of the book is %s." % book_id) 

Now go to 127.0.0.L8000/book/ll and 
you will see the id of the book on the page. 
This, as you'd agree, is useless. So let's make 
it do something. We will make the index 
page list all the books. 

As you can imagine, this is quite cum- 
bersome, especially as sites become more 
complex. Let's see how templates make this 
better. First we will create the views that use 
templates; replace the views.py contents 
with the following: 

from django. shortcuts import 
render_to_response 

from models import * 

def index(request) : 

book_list = Book. objects, 
alio 

persons_list = Person, 
objects. alio 

return render_to_ 
response( 'books/index. html', { 
'books' :book_list, 
'persons' :persons_list 
}) 

def book(request, book_id): 
book = Book. objects. 

get(pk=book_id) 

return render_to_ 

response( 'books/book. html' , { 



'book' :book 

}) 
Here is how this works: 

• The function render_to_response is a 
shortcut that loads the template (here 
'books/index.html') and passes all the 
parameters after that. Here, it will pass 
along the list of books and persons as 
'books' and 'persons', respectively. This 
data will be used by the 'index.html' 
template. 

• Similarly for the book function, the 
Book.objects.get function retrieves 
a single book based on the supplied 
parameter. Here the parameter is 'pk' 
or the primary key, which it matches 
against the bookjd from the URL. The 
matched object is passed to the 'book, 
html' template as 'book'. 

• A directory called 'templates' must be 
created under your project directory, 
and the 'index.html' and 'book.html' 
files will be placed in the 'books' subdi- 
rectory inside that folder. 

STEP 3: The templates 

Powerful as they may be, Django templates 
don't use Python. The template language 
Django uses is not a programming lan- 
guage, but a presentation language. It can 
access variable and loop through arrays, 
but it can't call functions in your code, so 
design your application likewise. 

Let us take a look at how we might make 
out "index.html" page; we are omitting 
basic HTML structure here, but feel free to 
add it: 

<hl>List of books</hl> 

<ul> 

{% for book in books %} 

<li>{{ book. name }}</li> 

{% endfor %} 

This will show a nice header "List of 
books" followed by the actual list. Here is 
what's going on: 

• Django tags expressed as {% tag %}. 
Here we use a "for" tag to iterate over the 
list of books. This syntax might seem 
familiar to those who have used other 
programming languages. 

• The "for" tag will repeat the contents 
between it and the "endfor" tag on each 
iteration. Here it will repeat for each 
book in the database 

• You can print variables by using this 



syntax: {{ variable }}. Here we print the 
name of the book as {{ book.name }}. 
You can apply filters to variables. For 
example {{ book.name | lower }} will 
output the name of the book con- 
verted to lower case. There are many 
useful filters; another example {{ 
sizelfilesizeformat }} will convert the 
number stored in 'size' to a filesize repre- 
sentation i.e. in KB, MB etc. 



LEitofbDoki 



Lht of |tropl# 



The Django tempLate index 

Let's make this a little better and actu- 
ally have each book link to its page. Replace 
contents of the for loop with: <li><a 
href="/book/{{ book.pk }}">{{ 
book.name }}</a></li> 

You can as easily create a list of all per- 
sons too by adding: 

<hl>List of people</hl> 

<ul> 

{% for person in persons %} 

<li>{{ person. first_name }} {{ 
person. last_name }}</li> 

{% endfor %} 

</ul> 

Creating the 'book.html' file is as simple: 
<hl>{{ book.name }}</hl> 
{% if book.borrowed_by %} 
<p>Borrowed by: {{ book.bor- 

rowed_by }}</p> 
{% endif %} 

{% if book.borrowed_on %} 
<p>Borrowed on: {{ book.bor- 

rowed_on }}</p> 
{% endif %} 

Hopefully this will need little expla- 
nation. It displays the book name as the 
heading, the name of the person who 
borrowed it and the date on which it was 
borrowed. The latter part will only be dis- 
played if they are set in the first place. H 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 



117 



Tech@Work 




NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 

NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 introduces a new display 
teclinoLogy caLLed NVIDIA 3D Ligiit boost wliicli 
sliouLd mal<e your 3D experience brigiiter. 



Glass Off 

Apple wiLL Launcii an application 
caLLed tLie 'GLass Off wLiicLi wiLL LieLp 
peopLe Lose tLieir reading gLasses. 



MAX 2011 in a Flash! 



The latest news from 
Adobe MAX 2011. and 
how it will change your 
digital life! 

Nash David 

nosh. david@thinkdigit. com 

Adobe MAX 2011 is a yearly 
event that serves as the 
launchpad to announce 
revisions to Adobe's product 
offerings; including the Creative Suite, 
currently in version 5.5. It's an event with 
participation by designers, developers, 
customers and employees from across the 
globe. It's significant because it gives a feel 
of the vision, and innovation in a company 
like Adobe. Given its influence on the 
web, it is meant to be closely followed. 

The general consensus among tech influ- 
encers (in the West) is that tablets would 
revolutionise the way we consume content. 
In recent years (this is less than 3 years that 
we're talking about), the web and commu- 
nications media have changed manifold. 
Steve Jobs, who'll be missed, announced the 
iPad in 2010 and revolutionised the way we 
consume, experience and share information. 

What tablets really revolutionised were 
the way applications are designed, and to a 
significant extent, it also enhanced the way 
standards were being looked at. UI and UX 
were terms that existed for a long time; but 
suddenly spiraled into popular vocabu- 
lary as a result of the phenomenal rise of 
Apple. Well, agreed, we're reporting on 
Adobe MAX 2011, so why discuss Apple? 

It's significant because Steve Jobs, while 
he was launching his gamechangers stated 
that Flash won't be supported by them. 
What followed seemed to be war between 
Apple and Adobe. Although there was 
nothing of that sort, the world seemed to fuel 
such a spat to all possible extent. Soon we 
were hearing about the fall of Flash. Then 
came HTML5. The rising market share by 
Apple prompted other equipment manu- 
facturers to launch their own tablets. We've 
seen Android, webOS, Windows and QNX 



among the most promi- 
nent platforms that have 
been doing the rounds. 
While it was getting better 
for the consumer, the 
developer wasn't really 
happy with the situation. 
Coding for each platform 
needed investment. 

You had to develop for 
Apple's iOS platform using 
its SDK using an Apple 
product such as a Mac 
within Apple's closed envi- 
ronment. Later, developers 
realised that Android is 
growing phenomenally 
too, and not one wanted to 
miss out on market share. 
Applications now had to 
be ported across platforms. 
Hiring separate teams 
meant investing in addi- 
tional time and resources, 
thereby increasing cost. 




CEO Shantanu Narayen with CIO Kevin Lynch in a Q&A session 



Adobe, the game changer 

That's when Adobe announced Flash 
Builder. You can now create your applica- 
tion that will run natively in an Adobe 
runtime (AIR) agnostic to the underlying 
operating system. Whether you want 
to cater to the Android Marketplace, 
Apple App Store, or BlackBerryApp 
World, you can deploy apps to all of them 
with the assurance that they will run 
smoothly, from within the same code 
base. You just need to develop once. 
What we were sceptical about was 
the hype surrounding HTML5 as a 
Flash killer. This was a key question 
we sought an answer to. There were 
several announcements at MAX. 

Announcements galore 

Adobe began with a strong message. Flash 
or HTML5, Adobe will support both! They 
also announced their highest ever donation 
to the Mozilla Foundation. In addition to 
this, they acquired Nitobi, makers of Phon- 



egap. Why is this significant? Well you can 
now develop for additional platforms using 
HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. Phonegap 
works by using these three technologies. It 
supports iOS, Android, BlackBerry webOS, 
Symbian and bada. The most significant 
highlight of this move is that Adobe is pro- 
moting Phonegap further as an opensource 
product. The next announcement was also 
an acquisition of web font company Typekit. 

With the acquisition of Typekit, you 
can now offer various fonts for your 
web site or application users. WebKit 
enables its font deliver mechanism by 
hundreds of servers globally located. 

The groundbreaking annoucement, 
however, was their thrust on Cloud 
computing. Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 will 
have 20 GB of Cloud storage and will 
sync your work across desktop, tablets 
and mobile devices. Besides this, Adobe 
launched 6 new touch based applica- 
tions, including Photoshop Touch that 
enables performing complex operations 
possible only on desktops until now. H 



118 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 



A 3D iPhoneS? 

An iPhone was spotted, which Looks much Like a iPhone 
4 and features duaL cameras, which are usuaLLy used to 
capture stereoscopic 3D footage 



■ 



Compex muscle stimulator 

A DJO gLobaL brand, it's a wireLess device that 
was recentLy used during the Tour de France 



Industry connect 



I 



Anup Murarka, Director, Product Marketing, Flash platform, had a detailed discussion with us on 
the latest developments on Flash, Flash Builder and tools by Adobe. This is a very short excerpt 
of the elaborate discussion. You can read the entire interview at devworx. Go to bitly/digit-anup 



Q With the acquisition of Phonegap, will 
Flash Builder be taking a different path in 
the future? 

No, because I think they really solve 
different problems. Flash Builder is a 
tool which we have today that serves 
developers who build Flash-based 
applications. I think what changes is 
developers now have the ability of using 
multiple and different technologies 
from Adobe to solve all their application 
challenges. It's more of a framework, 
so it's more analogous to whatever 
technology you publish using Flex. 

El So there will be Flash Builder, Flex, and 
also Phonegap as offerings from Adobe? 

Yes. Well, Phonegap is open-source. 

Q And it will stay that way? 

Yes. In fact, Adobe has already taken nec- 
essary steps. Nitobi has already submitted 



all of Phonegap's system 
to the Apache Founda- 
tion, which is basically 
a commitment, and they 
did that with Adobe's 
complete support. So it's 
an open-source project, 
and it will remain an 
open-source project. 

O Adobe has products such 
as IVIuse and Edge. What 
happens to Dreamweaver 
going forward? 

Think of our portfolio as 
solving individual chal- 
lenges or problems separately. Muse is 
for a specific category of creative profes- 
sionals that don't have experience in 
writing HTML or JavaScript code. They 
have experience in using tools such as 
InDesign. So in order to build a web page 




Anup Murarka 



with a design background 
from say, print experience, 
tools such as these help. 
The Edge product is simi- 
larly about creating anima- 
tions, and about moving 
objects on a web page. 
But done with a UI that is 
very familiar with a movie 
producer. Dreamweaver 
is still another product. 
It's a different tool. In 
this scenario it's about 
what a web producer has 
to go through. All the 
fine tuning and modifi- 
cation is done in Dreamweaver. Just as 
the web has grown more complex, even 
applications have grown more com- 
plex. Rarely is a web project executed 
by just one person any more. All these 
products support different roles. E3 



We also spoke to Lori De Furio, Product Marketing Manager, Acrobat Group, Adobe Systems. 
Read the complete interview at bitly/digit-Lori 



H There are so many 

functionalities available 

in Acrobat that are only 

exploited by a limited 

audience. The lay user, 

I think, is fine with just 

Adobe Reader. Could you 

share some information on 

Acrobat? 

That is an interesting 

point, and you're right. So 

many people say to me, "I 

have Adobe". What do you 

mean? What they mean is 

that they have Adobe PDF 

Reader. They are able to 

consume PDF, they're maybe able to fill a 

form, maybe able to add a sticky note, but 

that is the extent. So, you're right, when 

people think of Acrobat, they think, "Oh, 

I can use it to make PDFs". The really 

important functions that I would like to 

share with you, again to help improve 

productivity, to help reduce paper, they're 

built in work flows. One is for forms, so I 




Lori De Furio 



can actually take a form or 
even scan a paper, make 
it finable. Acrobat can 
do that and distribute it 
to all of you. You can fill 
it in with a free reader. 

n Could you give us an 
example of this? 

We have a function that 
is available in Acrobat 
and is called a portfolio. 
You know if you think 
about this idea of taking 
all these files and putting 
them in a folder, it keeps 
them as separate files, but wraps them 
in a PDF wrapper. So, I might have a 
schedule, price list or video from the 
CEO, we've seen companies use this for 
HR and boarding, a new employee comes 
to the company, they have forms to fill 
out, all sorts of guidebooks to teach 
them where to go. Put it in a portfolio, it's 
a pdf wrapper, and each piece is in there 



individually to work with - a video from 
the CEO, a welcome to the company, the 
form for this man - and the thing that 
is so nice about these portfolios is that 
they're available in Reader. So I create 
them in acrobat but I can distribute them. 

H So it's like a compression tool? 

It does compression, and uses the same 
compression algorithm as Winzip, 
you can think of a portfolio as a ZIP 
file with a UI to tell you what is inside. 
Because, when you look at ZIP, you 
see a list of files. This allows you to 
put the look on it. I can preview what 
is in the portfolio so much easier. 

QWhat about Acrobat for mobile devices? 

Well, there is no full Acrobat service for 
mobile devices. Although, we do have an 
Adobe Reader. We're continuing to try 
to enable as many features for mobile 
devices, but it's just not possible. Adobe 
Acrobat is more of a desktop product 
right now rather than mobile. 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 



119 



i? 



Sriram "Futsuu" Gurunathan 

reoclersLetters@thinkdigit.com 

IFA 11, despite bringing out a 
myriad of reactions from us, wasn't 
a significant enough upgrade over 
its predecessor to warrant a pur- 
chase, even if it was drastically different. 
EA Sports has looked to change that 
with FIFA 12, as one might have noticed with 
all the pre-release "best FIFA ever" talk. 
We dismissed that as the perennial hype 
machine, but were we right to? 

In their quest to get ever closer to 
realism, EA Sports has focused on a 
particular aspect of football each year. 
Two years ago, 360-degree dribbling was 
introduced, and last year it was the passing 
system that got a revamp. This year, it's the 
turn of the aspect that has stayed pretty 
much untouched for 
more than a decade .^ 

now - defending. 

Tactical 
Defending, as the 
feature is called, ^ 

takes the focus away 
from pressing and 
closing down to a 1 

more positioning and I ^ - 
timing-based system. 
This has been done via a 
change in the control scheme. 
The press button is now the 
contain button, which makes .. 

a defender try limiting a player's 
movements instead of homing in on 
his target. It obviously takes some ^ 

getting used to, but defending becomes a 
very rewarding experience. 



^ 




The game pace has been lowered too 
and that makes a huge impact on the next 
feature - Precision Dribbling. It aims to 
give you more control over how your player 
dribbles in close quarters and give players a 
lot more time on the ball, the lack of which 
was one of our primary complaints about 
previous editions of FIFA. 

Our reaction to the new Impact Engine, 
which changes the way player model 
physics is handled, isn't as positive though. 
This addition hoped to redefine interaction 
between the players on the pitch which 
earlier depended on canned animations. It 
works pretty well for the most part, making 
collisions look quite painful, but on occa- 
sion ends up causing some unintentional 
laughter or rage with some pretty hilarious 
or unfortunate outcomes. 

Offline game modes haven't changed 
much, with the Career Mode where you 
can take on the task of being a Player, a 
Player-Manager or a Manager and craft 
^ _ your career. Unfortunately, what 
^ has also not changed much is 
^ the fact that it's riddled 
with bugs. 

Online mode carries 
a few minor changes, like 
having you select your team and difficulty 
level before searching for opponents, 
^ instead of the other way round. 
^ Head-to-head is really broken 
^ because of a very unfortu- 
|J>^ nate exploit which means 
we're pretty much facing 
^j the AI online, which 
is kind of stupid; if we 
wanted to do that, we'd just 
play offline. 



Pros: 

» Tactical Defending is a great addition 
» Precision Dribbling gives players 

a lot more time on the ball 
» Nice, solid presentation 
Cons: 

» Impact Engine is a bit wonky in places 
» Both Online and Offline game 

modes are plagued with bugs 
Details: 

Developer: EA Canada 
Publisher: Electronic Arts 
Genre: Sports/Football 
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 
Also available on: Wii, PSP, 3DS, 
iOS, Mac OS X, PlayStation 2, 
PlayStation Vita, Xperia Play. 
PEGI Rating: 3 

Price: 999 (PC), 2,499 (Xbox 
360, PlayStation 3) 



Presentation is just what we've come 
to expect from EA Sports, though it hasn't 
changed much from FIFA 11. Alan Smith 
replaces Andy Gray as Martin Tyler's partner. 
Olive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend are also 
present as the voices for cup fixtures. 

The Final Whistle 

FIFA 12's gameplay is extremely solid and is 
only a few Impact Engine tweaks away from 
being excellent, but the numerous bugs and 
issues that plague the game are quite the 
mood killers. One can only hope patches 
are on the way, but we've seen EA Sports do 
this year after year, and there are no signs 
that lead us to believe that this year is any 
different. 

The bottom line, though, is that FIFA 12 
is a great game when you get on the pitch 
and actually play football. The off-the-pitch 
issues are what plague it most, which sort of 
makes it realistic and close to real-life, just 
not in a way EA Sports - and certainly not 
the way the fans - expected it to. * 



Ratings: 
» Graphics: 8.0 
» Sound: 9.0 
» Gameplay: 9.0 
» Game Modes: 6.0 
» Value for Money: 7.0 



THE SKOAR 



I I I I I I ig^ 



«?^ 




God of War: 

REAAASTERED, UNCHAINED, REAL 



Jait "Foxymoron" Dixit 

reoclersLetters(n)thinkdit 



od of War needs no introduction 
to its Legions of fans, but for 
those not aware, it's one of the 
most successful franchises as 



far as PlayStation goes. Here, the series' 
portable entries, God of War - Chains 
of Olympus and God of War - Ghost of 
Sparta have been ported to the PS3. And 
boy oh boy, they do pack in some punch, 
with bumped up HD visuals, full stere- 
oscopic 3D support, 5.1 surround sound 
with DTS support, PlayStation network 
trophies and the unabashed glee in killing 
something 12,72,639 times your size with 
your bare hands. 

A solid storyline was never a forte 
of the games in this series. The story, 
it seems, is merely in place to give a 
semblance of logic to the mindless button 
mashing. Chronologically, Chains of 
Olympus takes place before God of War, 
and Ghost of Sparta takes place before 
God of War II. Kratos is his usual self - 
angry, seeking revenge and murdering 



gods. Although, who gives a hoot about 
the story as long as you have hordes of 
baddies to butcher? That brings us to the 
villains, we don't see any variety in the 
bosses. Nevertheless, everything that 
Kratos does on screen - be it puncturing 
a Cyclops' eye, beheading a minotaur, 
strangling a Medusa, de-winging a harpie 
or harpooning a hoplite - feels epic. There 
are also some puzzle elements involved, 
which are reminicent of Prince of Persia at 
some level. On the whole, the gameplay is 
more than satisfactory. Kratos gets a wide 
arsenal of weapons and magical abilities in 
both the games, with the Blades of Chaos 
being used most often. Other weapons and 
abilities are used merely when the story or 
environment expressly calls for them. 
Quick-time events feature in both 
the games and are mandatory as far 
as bosses are concerned, where once 
weakened, a prolonged quick-time event 
will lead to Kratos gutting said foe in 
a deliciously gruesome manner. A few 
quirks present with the PSP versions are 
also ironed out. Dodging or rolling, which 
earlier required the player to hold down 
both LI and Rl and then use the left 
analog stick, was a tad difficult to grasp. 
These controls are now mapped to the 
right analog stick, making gameplay a 
breeze. But one complaint is that we need 
to make it all the way back to the XIMB to 
switch between games. 



THESKOAR 



Genre: Hack & Slash 
Developer: Ready at Dawn 
Publisher: SCE Santa Monica 
Price (PC): ?1,899 (PS3) 



Graphics are remastered in razor- 
sharp High Definition for PS3 in 1080p 
at a comfortable 60fps, but they still 
let you down in some places. The cut- 
scenes have also been re-rendered in 
full HD, which was much needed after 
the creators had missed doing that in the 
original God of War Collection. As far as 
sound goes, Kratos seems to think that 
everybody he encounters, including us, 
are absolutely deaf, so he literally shouts 
out his dialogues. The background score 
is opera-ish with a focus on vocals and 
heavy orchestration. 

Two God of War games for under 2,000 
bucks is not a bad deal at all. The added 
DLC that were released for the original 
games on PSP and support for PSN trophies 
are icings on the cake. Each game provides 
a decent 6-10 hour gameplay for an average 
gamer, which increases after you unlock 
arenas after completing the game once. God 
of War fan or not, this game definitely needs 
to be a part of any self-respecting PS3 
gamer's compendium of games. Read more 



It http://bit.Lv/rdmBYr * 




INDIA'S BIGGEST MUSIC SHOW EVER 



I^J^^l^ COMPOSITIONS t"WW 



OF INDIA'S FINEST 
MUSIC TAIJENT 



MUSIC ACROSS ALL GIENRIES 

Rock, Folk, Blues, Bollywood, Ghazals, Sufi, Jazz, Hiphop, Bhajan, 
Hindustani, Western & Carnatic Classical, Jugalbandi, Tribal & more 

Across Tv, Radio, Net, Mobile, CD, DVD & Live 




^ tadkcL 



COMING SOON 




2011 




"^Mifudh "Mad Zombie" Regidi 

reodersLetters@thinkdigit.com 

ormula One is a sport considered 

, by many aficionados to represent 

the pinnacle of the motor racing 

pxnpripnnp. Thp narq thpnn«;plvp«; 



are marvels of precision engineering - 
every aspect of the vehicles is fine-tuned 
to an almost impossible degree of perfec- 
tion. A sport where an ounce of extra 
weight might mean the difference between 
finishing on the podium or among the also- 
rans. Codemasters have set themselves 
quite a lofty goal as they try to recreate 
this experience and, all things considered, 
have succeeded to a very large extent. 

Start your engines 

Visually, the game has received a very 
subtle but noticeable boost to the graphics 
engine. Compared to its predecessor, the 
colours are brighter now and the environ- 
ments don't look as drab and washed out 
as they used to. The cars are also much 
^ier and have far more visual detail. The 

^steering wheels are now unique to each 
car and have been modelled to represent 

I the exact design and layout used by each 
team. Subtle animations such as the vibra- 
tions of the front wing as you take a corner 



at speed, smoking tyres as you lock youi 
wheels up in an attempt to hit that apex 
and the driver's interaction with his steering 
wheel as you adjust your car settings or 
engage DRS or KERS go a really long way 
towards improving game immersion. 

The audio has received a major boost 
as well. The engine notes are far more 
accurate and you can actually tell when to 
change gear by just listening to the engine 
notes, or even "hear" the wind whistling by 
your ears as you go hurtling down a long 
strait with your DRS flap wide open! 

Fl 2010, while a good game, always felt 
a little bland. The damage was very min- 
imal and the start of a race was nowherrf^ 
i near as chaotic as that of an actual race. 
! The engine notes were quite tame and you 
, could go flying around any corner safe in 
j the knowledge that you would not spin out 
that easily despite turning off the driving 
assists. Fl 2011 has sought to remedy all 
that. The car handling is far more realistic 
now, you can't just go pedal-to-the-metal 
the entire length of the race. Finer, gradual 
inputs are rewarded and even required at 
higher difficulty levels. In fact, playing the 
game with just a keyboard will be an exer- 
cise in frustration when the driving assists 
are off. A dab of the throttle as you navigate 
■ a steep curve and you'll end up facing the 



[E SKOAR 



Developer: Coden 
Publisher: Codem 
Price (PC): ?850 



way you came. At the very least, you would 
require a gamepad with analog triggers to 
ensure you have the car under control at all 

I times. The wheels actually lock-up under 
heavy braking and you will need to monitor 
them for flat spots as well as tyre wear. 
Your engineer is also more helpful this time 
around. He actually provides you with rel- 
evant information as you race and doesn't 
pester you with irrelevant inanities. 
One slight niggle here is still the 
^^ damage modelling. While an improve- 
ment over the original game, it is still 
nowhere near as good as it should 
be. Fl cars are made of some of the 
strongest and lightest materials avail- 
able, but they are also incredibly fragile 
and sensitive as well. This just doesn't 
come across in the game. You can hap- 
pily go around bumping into walls and 
other cars and only suffer the loss of 
- the front wing. 

The game plays out very much like 
its predecessor, you are a rookie driver 
starting your Fl career off in one of 
the lesser teams. You work your way 
up by completing mission objectives 
throughout your career and receive 
vehicle updates and team offers based 
on your performance and handling of 
the press. A very nice new addition here 
is the inclusion of support for an actual 
human team-mate as you go through 
your career. The two of you can play via 
.„ split-screen, LAN or online. 



Overall Fl 2011 is a worthy upgrade 
over its predecessor. Think of it a "" 
upgrading from Windows Vista to Win- 
dows 7. Both of them essentially share 
the same core, but the slight tweaks 
and upgrades put Fl 2011 in a different 
league altogether. The formula isn't per- 
fect yet and it is still far from delivering 
the definitive Formula One experience, 
but judging by the way Codemasters is 
working on it, they are getting thei^ji^ 




I I 



\ 



Listen to your sou . 

Enough you listened to your mind. Now, start 
listening to your SOUL - the stunning portable 
speakers fronn Circle. Uplift your senses with 
enthralling sound experience on the go, transcending 
your mood to an unmatched high. 



• Available in two colours (Red & Black). 

• Power output: 6W (3W + 3W). 

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Contact us at: info@entercircle.com 



i\i 



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Available at: 

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I 

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L®. 



cNV^Mdr^ 




Esc 



^ 



Nokia 800 ad leaked 

Nokia wiLL presumably be Launching its first 
Windows 7 Smartplione, tlie Nol<ia 800 




No more drunk driving 

Tru Tecii TeclinoLogy lias deveLoped a 
l<it wliicli measures tine exact amount 
of aLcolioL content in a driver's body. 



Gaming Memes 

A bunch of internet phenomena that gaming can proudly, or not so proudly, call its own. 



All your base are belong to ul 

The Mega Drive version of Zero Wing had 
a badly translated opening sequence of 
dialogues, with one of them being "All 
your base are belong to us". Another 
one was "For great justice", which is 
now a comical motivational line used 
before mundane tasks. 



4v%« cM^ fS^ l-<t* 





The cake is a lie 

Used to tell people that what they're being 
promised at the completion of an objective 
is nothing but a lie. From Portal, where 
GlaDOS promises the player cake before 
every task. The player later stumbles across 
messages on the walls of the research 
facility which say "the cake is a lie". 



I 



seroy Jenkins 

Used when someone trying to be a hero 
destroys teamwork. From a World of 
Warcraft video where a player gets his whole 
party killed by disregarding their elaborate 
plan and instead choosing to rush in alone 
while yelling "LEEERROOOYYY JENKINS!!!", 
his character name, as a battle cry. 





Giant Enemy Crab 

From the disastrous Sony press confer- 
ence at E3 2006. While the game Genji 
2 was being hyped as featuring battles 
that actually happened in Japanese his- 
tory, gameplay footage featuring a giant 
enemy crab as a boss was playing in the 
background. Gameplay descriptions also 
included attacking its weak point for mas- 
sive damage and real-time weapon changes. 





In ur base 

When one Starcraft player asked his 
opponent where he was, he was greeted 
with a reply that said "im in ur base, 
killing ur dOOds". A screenshot was 
posted online and it became a catch- 
phrase indicating utter humiliation for 
anyone at the receiving end. The sen- 
tence was also very exploitable, and that 
resulted in loads of image macros. 



0M6 ZER6 RUSH! KEKEKE! 

The Zerg race in Starcraft take less time 
and resources to produce at the start of the 
game, leading to players controlling other 
races being attacked en masse very early in 
the game. The origin for this was a conversa- 
tion between two Starcraft players, of which 
the Zerg-controlling player replied with 
"KEKEKE". Used to describe large crowds, 
or anything that has superiority in numbers. 



««'^ 



ft m :«t» "_«*"] 



Ik 
ft™ 


m I 


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* 



The FIFA 12 release at the end of Last month was met with much fanfare from the Digit team, who wasted no time competing 
with each other at the game. Barcelona were by far the team of choice for most, with Bayern Munich and Manchester United in 
a close second and third respectively. The results showed a different side though, with Bayern dominating most fixtures. Dab- 
bas also became quite the rage, with many ordering for tiffin services, or samples at the very least. In the midst of all this, a 
very reluctant Mithun was left with cake on his face as he turned a year older. Most of the team also took a trip down south, to 
Bangalore specifically, to attend a show for the ages. There are sore necks and bruises galore in the office, as the physical strain 
put on our bodies during the Metallica concert moshpit was a bit too much for our fragile geek frames. Exit fight, enter band-aid. 



124 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.conn 



Angry birds film? 

After tremendous success with their game, 
Rovio has confirmed that a big HoLLywood 
movie is on its way. 



PS Vita rolling out 

PlayStation Vita is aLL set to hit 
Europe and consequently India on 
February 22, 2012. 



Community 




The seed that bears the fruit 

If you guys remember, we gave away a pack of seeds with our 
June 2010 anniversary issue. This pretty tree has sprung out 
from those very seeds which Anirban Chakraborty got with his 
Digit issue. His hard work paid off and after more than a year he's 
a proud owner of a sprawling Cassia Siamea tree. 



Digit Facebook Pages 



Join the group that suits your need! 

■ p^p J I http://www.facebook,com/thinkdigit 
O 1!F 11 I Your favourite magazine on your favourite 

social network. Interact with thousands of Digit 
readers and have some geeky fun! 



http://wwwiacebook,com/techkranti 
Let's wake ourselves up and gather the tools of 
tech to change the future of our great nation. Join 
The Revolution! 

http://www.facebook.com/IThinkGadgets 

Community of People who love mobiles, laptops, 

cameras & other gadgets 

http;//www.facebook.com/consumermate 

Expert buying advice and some awesome offers 

http://www,facebook.com/g[adtobeaprogrammer 
Community of software programmers who enjoy 
writing code and want to grow their career in 
software development 





Head over to www.thinkdigit.com/forum, for some of best discussions, buying advice, and user reviews. Of course, you will 
meet like-minded (and not so like-minded) geeks, leading to some of the most constructive arguments you'll ever have. 

Check out this thread beLow asking a genuine question. What is it about the iPhone that makes buyers stand in Line for hours at a stretch? 
But it's not aU forum talk, you'U find some interesting info and much more. Head over to the thread via this Link www.thinkdigit.com/forum 



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DIGIT' 
TRUST 



Your experiences with products, ^^ 

after sales support, warranty support, ^^ 

and overall brand feedbaci( will help m^ 

steer Indians towards buying good T^^ 

products and avoiding the bad ,^ 
ones... do your bit, and help 
dia spend wisely on tech, Jl 




Digit I November 2011 1 www.tlninkdigit.com 



125 



Digit 101 



Understanding Game Ratings 

When you're buying gannes - be it for your kids or for yourself - the ganne ratings on the packaging Let you know what to expect 
fronn thenn in ternns of content. If you don't want to be shocked yourself, or Let your kids play stuff you don't thenn going near, get 
clued in on the different standards and ganne ratings you're Likely to encounter. 



ESRB 

The Entertainment Software Rating Board 
is a seLf-reguLatory organisation tliat issues 
ratings for games and entertainment soft- 
ware tliat are released in tine United States, 
Canada and Mexico. Tliis is also tlie rating 
system tliat appears most frequently at the 
beginning of video game trailers and previews 
on the internet. 

Ratings: 

The ESRB uses Letters for its ratings. 



EMLYCHIUHC]] 




These games have pretty 
much no offensive content 
and are safe to be pLayed 
by very young children. 
Educational games and 
games featuring characters 
Like Nemo and Winnie the 



Pooh usually faLL under this rating. 



EVERYONE 




I CONTENT HftTEO 61 
ESRB 



Games rated E might contain 
extremely Limited cartoon 
violence, if at aLL, and are 
hence safe for most kids to 
pLay. Most sports games and 
sim racers faLL under this cat- 
egory, as do franchises Like 



Mario and LittLe Big PLanet. 




UlNTENT RATED ^'T 



As the name impLies, these 
games are considered unsuit- 
able for chiLdren under 10 
years of age to pLay because 
of miLdLy suggestive themes, 
the possible inclusion of 
blood, violence and mild 



CERO 

One of the two organisations that rates 
video games in Japan, CERO only rates 
games released on consoles. Its ratings 
are based on alphabetic levels, in a manner 
much like ESRB's. The five levels are A (all 
ages), B (12 and above), C (15 and above), 
D (17 and above) and Z (18 and above only). 



language. Think of it as the video game equiva- 
lent of the Parental Guidance rating for movies 
and TV shows. 



TEEN 



Considered safe for people 
aged 13 or more, this rating 
is given to games that 
feature a lot more violence, 
suggestive themes, gambling 
or rare use of mild language. 
Recent examples of games 

with this rating include the Uncharted series 

and Batman: Arkham Asylum. 




CONTENT MTEo er 
SRB 



These games are very likely 
to have copious amounts 
of sexual themes, blood, 
violence or foul language. 
Several US retailers require 
Age Identification to sell 
games with this rating to 
people, something that is not followed here, so 
be on your toes. Call of Duty, Halo and Grand 
Theft Auto games fall under this category. 



nilATURE1T+ 



lA 



^ 



XE 



ADULTS 0HLY18H 



A no-brainer, these games 
are only to be played by 
adults. Expect nudity, 
extreme violence or exces- 
sive foul language. These 
games are extremely rare 
though, because console 
manufacturers usually don't allow games rated 
AC to be published on their platforms. GTA: San 
Andreas and Manhunt 2 were toned down once 
threatened with this rating. 




Games under this category 
_ have been submitted to the 
^^^nk ESRB for rating, but don't 
M(t^^^ have one yet. This is usually 
■ Hn" only found in pre-release 

promotional material like 
trailers and ads. Once rated, 
the material has to be changed to reflect the 
actual rating. 



PEGI 

The Pan European Game Information rating 
covers games released in Europe, and are the 



ratings you're most likely to encounter here in 
India, because we fall under the PAL region 
for video games. 

Ratings: 

PEGI uses five age categories and eight 
images that describe in-game content. The 
age categories are self-explanatory, really. 



All ages 7+ 



12+ 16+ 



QO 

18+ 



Descriptions: 

In addition to the age ratings, PEGI also pro- 
vides content descriptions in the form of eight 
images that make it onto the packaging if that 
type of content is present in the game. 




Violence, blood 
and death 



Profanity and general 
Bad Language 




Disturbing or 

frightening 

images 



Sexual attraction, 
intercourse, suggestive 
clothing or nudity 




Illegal drugs or fic- 
tional equivalents 



Includes betting of 
virtual money 




Discrimationonthe 
basis of race, ethnicity, 
gender or sexual 
preferences 



OQO 



Contains online game- 
play, the experience of 
which usually doesn't 
factor into the age rating 



126 



Digit I November 2011 1 www.thinkdigit.com 




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